Tea Partiers, Democrats and cookies

On the “real me” facebook, a “joke” is making the rounds:

‎”A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, ‘Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

I kind of doubt that the people who laugh at that “joke” would appreciate this truly brilliant piece of political satire:

What’s really going on in Wisconsin

It’s a good video:

Here’s the real point:  If you want to work for government (which can be a very honorable or practical or neutral thing to do), you are forced to pay union dues.  You know, when you pay those dues that they will be used to fund the Democrats.  This is true whether or not you, personally, want to fund the Democrats.

Once elected, the Democrats shower benefits on the public sector unions, since that ensures that the unions will then shower money right back on the Democrats.  What’s important to remember is that these elected Democrats are your employees, just as the public sector workers are.  Nevertheless, you, the tax payer, have been cut out of the loop.  Instead, there’s an endlessly cycling mutually beneficial relationship going on between unions and benefits, that you’re paying for.  I think it’s called taxation without representation.  (Hmm….  Where have I heard that expression before?)


Roger Simon, among others, has noted that the demonstrations in Madison demonstrate how old-fashioned the modern Left is, something that’s true despite the Left’s attempt to re-brand itself with the name “Progressive.”  It therefore seemed appropriate for me to run again an article I wrote for American Thinker back in September 2007.  My section on the unions (“Look for the union label”) seems prescient now.



Language is anything but static, something for which we must be grateful. It’s the dynamism of the English language that, at the high end, gives us Chaucer, Shakespeare, Pope, Dickens, and at the low end, gives us the liveliness of slang and dialect.

One of the interesting things about English’s constant, beneficial mutations is the fact that some terms which start off as merely descriptive begin to degrade in meaning, eventually ending as insults. For example, the now archaic word “beldam” started off as a grand old lady and ended up meaning a miserable hag. “Spinster” originally described a woman who spins, but came to mean a desiccated, narrow minded old virgin. Another word that ended with a completely degrade meaning was “bedlam,” which describes a completely insane situation, but that had its genesis in Christ’s natal town of Bethlehem.

And then there’s the word “liberal.” It comes from the Latin “liber,” meaning free, so the word “liberal” originally referred to one committed to freedom. Over time, however — indeed, in our lifetime — it came to mean one thing: someone who could not win an election. Clearly, it was time for a change.

Liberals, after some bold attempts to reclaim the title for themselves (and they’ve got the bumper stickers to prove it), decided to jettison the term entirely and come up with a new word to describe themselves. They are now “Progressives.” The word “progressive” means to advocate beneficial change and progress, and that’s certainly what Progressives would have the American people believe they offer.

By giving themselves this label, however, the Progressives have proven yet again that there’s no delusion quite as powerful as self-delusion. The fact is that, if you pick apart each of the Progressives’ stands on any major issue of the day, you’ll see that either they have staked out positions that were either proven false or ineffective decades ago, or they’re still fighting battles that were long ago won, making their efforts redundant (yet still, somehow, harmful to the modern political process).

One, two, three, four, No way will we win this war

The most visible example of the Progressives’ tendency to live in the past is their compulsive urge to view the Iraq War as if it was a movie sequel entitled The Vietnam War, Part II. This was apparent within minutes of the War’s inception, when Progressives (both in and out of the media) were already labeling it a quagmire. They looked for and found their My Lai massacre when the Abu Ghraib scandal and the Haditha affair came to light.

Showing admirable tenacity, the Progressives have clung to these few 1960s/1970s lodestones despite some pesky details that run counter to their Vietnam narrative. For one thing, there was the fact that, in the months leading up to the War, Saddam Hussein worked hard to convince UN inspectors that he had WMDs. If this was true (and they’re in Syria or elsewhere right now), he invited the War on himself and his long suffering people.

If it was Saddam issuing propaganda aimed at aggrandizing his stature amongst the rogue nations of the world, no one can be blamed for bombing his nuclear Potemkin Village. Certainly he’d actually built that faux village on a solid foundation, since few could doubt that someone who would gleefully use poison gas to massacre his own people would hesitate to use it against foreign enemies, given the chance.

Another problem for the Regressives… er, Progressives… is the nature of Saddam’s Iraq itself. Vietnam had the bad luck to be caught between opposing Communist forces, with Vietnam the battered football in the middle. Iraq was quite a different kettle of fish. In a region that distinguishes itself as the land of repressive regimes, Saddam stood out as a star. In addition to the Halabja massacre (see above), Saddam brutally tortured and murdered his own people, committed ecoterrorism to drive out disfavored ethnic groups, gave free reign to his sadistic sons with the hope that they’d eventually rule Iraq, invaded neighboring sovereign nations, and is believed to have murdered around 200,000 of his own people. Under Hussein, Iraq was not an unwitting international football kicked around in the Cold War, it was a time bomb waiting to explode.

None of these icky little facts deter the Progressives. For them, it’s always 1974 all over again and they urge us on to the one lesson they learned from the Vietnam War: the U.S. should turn tail and run. Sadly for Iraqis and Americans, the Progressives are careful to freeze their historic memories to fix on that (to them) wonderful moment when people raced to the rooftops of buildings, desperate to board the last U.S. helicopters. Memory carefully stops before it reaches the reeducation camps in North Vietnam or the Killing Fields of Cambodia. For Progressives, useful as the past is to define their current-day agenda, some history lessons are better left unlearned.

‘I believe it is peace in our time.”

When it comes to terrorists, Progressives show a true sense of retro style, turning the Way Back machine to the 1930s, with Neville Chamberlain as their role model. For those who are not conversant with Chamberlain’s dealings with Hitler, they are instructive.

Immediately upon assuming power in 1933, Hitler began to use violence and intimidation within Germany in order to achieve his political and social goals. To the extent that he went after Communists, many in Europe and, especially, in Britain, were not unsympathetic to his goals, even if they deplored his tactics. They were less sympathetic to, but perfectly willing to ignore, his attacks on Jews, gays, clergyman, gypsies, and the mentally and physically handicapped. These were, after all, internal affairs and (I’m sure this was said with the inevitable shrug), “what can one do?”

Europe’s ability to look the other way changed in 1938 when Hitler, feeling limited by turning his aggression on his own people, began turning his energies outward. In March 1938, after having already procured the assassination of an Austrian Chancellor, Hitler invaded Austria in what became known as the Anschluss. (And it’s no credit to Austria that large numbers of its citizens were delighted with this turn of events.) Although this was a complete violation of all international law, and was clearly an act of war, Chamberlain’s government sat passively by.

Then, in September 1938, when Hitler began to rumble about the Sudetenland, which Germany had lost to Czechoslovakia after World War I, Chamberlain went to Berlin to meet with Hitler. Hitler quickly got the measure of the man and offered Chamberlain an either/or solution to the Sudetenland issue: Either Britain assist Germany’s plans to annex the Sudetenland or Hitler would invade Czechoslovakia and take it back himself. Overawed by Hitler’s reasoning, Neville Chamberlain quickly agreed to the “either” part of that plan and executed the Munich Agreement. Proud of his negotiating skills, which gave Hitler the power and geographical range instantly to overrun Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain returned to England and boasted to the British people that

“this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honor. I believe it is peace in our time.”

The 1930s peace crowd took those words seriously. Despite Hitler’s increasingly aggressive acts throughout the 1930s, both inside and outside Germany, and despite Hitler’s clearly expressed threats to take over Europe and destroy all whom he deemed inferior, Chamberlain and the peace party that support him were “shocked, shocked” when Hitler, appropriately viewing the Munich Agreement as a carte blanche from supine European leaders, first invaded Czechoslovakia, then Poland, and then tried to take on the world.

Chamberlain’s incredible naiveté in believing that it was possible to have peace with a tyrant bound and determined to control and kill anyone who affected his power meant that, within seven years of the Munich Agreement, through genocide, the ordinary and tragic casualties of war, and battle deaths, as many as 72 million people are estimated to have died. One can only conclude that Chamberlain got “peace with honor” confused with the Roman idea, which was to “make a desert and call it peace.”

If the above narrative sounds uncomfortably familiar, it should, and I’m not just saying this because you probably studied World War II in school (or, at least, you did if you’re over 30). The so-called Progressives are closely mimicking Chamberlain’s behavior. They’re thrilled with Bin Laden’s reasoning, especially since he sounds uncannily like their own Progressive leaders. They want us to do everything that Bin Laden and his minions advise: withdraw from Iraq, jettison Israel, and remove any Western presence from Saudi Arabia (except, of course, for the petrodollars).

The Progressive’s antiquated appeasement standards are even better displayed with Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York. Let me remind you here that Ahmadinejad may have been part of the 1979 hostage crisis, that he’s repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel entirely, and that he’s determined to become a nuclear power, which poses a threat to all Western interests. But who cares? Bully boys are always treated well by appeasers. This time, not only were the Progressive appeasers excited to give him a forum at the once prestigious Columbia University in New York, they’ve gave him airtime on American TV courtesy of 60 Minutes.

And just to put the whole matter of the Progressives’ fawning over Ahmadinejad in its proper retro perspective, in 1933 Columbia happily offered the red carpet to a high ranking Nazi official. One could argue that, in 1933, it wasn’t quite so obvious how terrible the Nazis were to become, but Columbia President Lee Bollinger has killed that argument already. He announced that he would have invited Hitler to speak too. Keep in mind that even Chamberlain didn’t invite Hitler to London.

We’re having a baby, my baby and me.

One of the most retrograde areas in Progressive thought concerns abortion rights — and I think you’ll agree with me whether you are pro-Choice or pro-Life.

A couple of years ago, I found myself at the abortion rights webpage for the National Organization of Women. What struck me right away was how dated the organization’s position was regarding abortion. At that time, to make its point about the need for legalized abortions, it led with photographs of four women who died from abortions. Following the link, I was led to the story of seven women who died from botched abortions. The years of death were 1929, 1929, 1940, 1950, 1967, 1977 and 1988. The dates are significant, since only the last two occurred after abortion became legal.

The death in 1977 was blamed on the fact that the dead woman was denied public funding for her abortion; the death in 1988 was blamed on a young woman afraid to seek parental consent for a legal abortion. Thus, with the exception of the 1977 and 1988 abortions, all the highlighted deaths occurred in times when birth control options were nil to limited, and when the stigma of pregnancy for unmarried women was extraordinarily high. The 1988 abortion was also a “stigma” abortion, since the girl was afraid to tell her parents.

There is no doubt that, if you are pro-Choice, either whole heartedly or in a lukewarm kind of way, there are, in 2007, still arguments to make in favor of abortion — rape, incest, a high risk pregnancy, a woman’s right to control her body, etc. The old reasons, however, just don’t apply anymore. Aside from the easy availability of myriad forms of birth control, nowadays the average accidental pregnancy may well be difficult or inconvenient, but it is no longer social death. Women are not turned out at night into snow storms, women do not become community pariahs, women are not forever tainted because of having an “illegitimate” pregnancy and, despite NOW’s focus on teen abortions and parental consent, it’s the rare news story that concerns a teen dying of a back alley abortion in those states requiring parental consent. It may certainly be embarrassing for a woman to admit to a pregnancy, but it is no longer the end of life on earth as women know it. Certainly the abortion debate would be more honest, if less emotional, if the “Progressives” were to debate abortion in the here and now, instead of in the then and gone.

We Shall Overcome

Perhaps ashamed that during both major Civil Rights battles (the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movements), Democrats allied themselves against African Americans, modern Progressives not only proclaim themselves the defenders of Civil Rights in America, but they also continue to wage the battle against racism as if it’s still Selma, 1964. In the Progressive world, racial oppression is an omnipresent aspect in the fabric of American life, with every white American (who isn’t Progressive, of course) a slavering racist anxious to degrade and dehumanize blacks.

To Progressives, something like the Jena 6 is a beautiful thing, because it proves their point — America is a racist nation, and they can board their protest busses and bravely take a seat at the segregated lunch counters of their fantasies. What they seem incapable of realizing is that even government conduct as suspect as that in the Jena 6 case reveals how far America has come since the actual Civil Rights movement. I’m probably not the first to notice that Jena 6 is a cause celebre, not because it’s happening all over America, or even all over the South, but because it’s anomalous.

White America is not routinely scapegoating black America. Indeed, the most recent racially motivated scapegoating saw a white Southern politician attempt to destroy the lives of several white defendants in an effort to curry favor with the local black community. (That would be the alleged Duke rape, for those of you scratching your heads over my allusion.) It’s also worth pointing out that the Jena 6 case is not the traditional “whites are bad, blacks are scapegoated” scenario, but seems to be an uglier and broader slice of race warfare amongst the young’uns, with each side enthusiastically threatening and otherwise terrorizing its opponent.

There is no doubt that there are still Americans who are racists, and it behooves each and every American to target that racism where it lies. But we make a grave mistake if we (for “we” read “Progressives”) pretend that the institutional racism of the Jim Crow South is still a looming factor in the lives of African-Americans. That kind of historical yearning means that, every three years or so, when something bad happens to African-Americans (and I don’t deny that bad things happen), Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton can race over to relive their own glory days in the early 1960s, all the while obscuring the fact that we live in a much less racially charged world. This kind of 1960s theater in the 21st Century does two terrible things: it continuously inflames the African American sense of grievance, something both psychologically and practically damaging; and it helps grow two dangerous emotions in white Americans when it comes to race: ennui and resentment.

Look for the union label

Unions were a necessity in the early days of the industrial revolution. Workers were so spectacularly abused in those days (in part because they had limited mobility when it came to looking for greener employment pastures) that only by united action were they able to shift the employer/employee dynamic away from mind-bogglingly brutalizing practices. (See, for example, the successful 1888 strike that forced the British government to legislate against the horror of phossy jaw, a phosphorous based cancer that afflicted 19th and 20th century workers in match factories.) Unionization is still useful today in highly dangerous industries where the risks of employment go beyond the economic and into life and death scenarios – and this is especially true in the chemical industry, where the employer has information the employee lacks and has the ability to control environmental safety which, again, is something the individual employee cannot do.

Having said that, most unions today are not useful at all, but are redundant victims of their own success. Thanks to decades of union action, the federal government and all the States have wage and hour laws, labor commissions (most of which are usually very hostile to the employer), occupational safety and health laws, mandatory retirement plans, minimum wage laws, etc. All of these, of course, were worker protections that unions fought for and won.

The problem is that, once you’ve done what you came for, what’s left? Well, for a lot of unions, aside from a huge effort negotiating salaries for the union bosses and a de minimus effort doing the same for union members, what’s left is a bullying style that tries to infringe on management prerogatives by dictating how the business should be run. The most obvious example of that trend can be found in the teacher’s unions, which routinely try to control both the broader political process and the classroom curriculum, all the while pressuring their employer (that would be you, through your agent, the government), to continue employing them without regard to performance standards.

Despite all this, for the Progressives, unions are the only things that stand between American workers and the 19th Century factory system of 12 hours, at salaries equal to mere pennies, in horrible unsafe conditions. It’s as if the social and political changes affecting employees during the last 100 years never happened. Instead, only by emphasizing working conditions that, in most cases, no longer exist, can Progressives keep alive an institution that serves their larger political agenda (often with a complete disregard for the rank and file’s beliefs), but that has an increasingly small effect on any given union’s original purpose.

Bill and Hillary Clinton, when running in 1992, were fond of repeating the old saying that insanity is defined by doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome. They were prescient (and I’m not just talking about Hillary’s recycled healthcare plan). No matter how they label themselves, the Progressives are anything but: on every issue that affects Americans, they have staked their politics and theories that are antiquated, ineffective or redundant. And if that’s not crazy, I don’t know what is.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Wisconsin Liberal Disconnects

Today, several schools in Wisconsin announced that they would be closed so that their teachers could attend protests in the state capital, Madison, against GOP Gov. Walker’s proposals to take away collective bargaining rights from public sector unions. Wisconsin, like neighboring Illinois, is going broke. The behavior of the Wisconsin public school teachers pretty much underscores why Gov. Walker is right.


We have several friends and relatives in Wisconsin who come from solid blue-color union backgrounds. Some have already retired on handsome benefit packages (one was able to retire with full retirement benefits at age-49), albeit from the private sector. Following their Facebook comments, we learn that they are in full uproar, encouraging each other to go to Madison to lend their support to the protests.

The funny thing is, these are the same individuals who have been complaining to us that they are thinking of moving out of Wisconsin because the cost of living and taxes are too high.

I suspect that this type of cluelessness is pretty common among Liberals in general.

So, in trying to patiently explain our (national) debt crisis to Liberals (I know, I know…for too many of them, math is hard, so KISS), I propose trying to lead them to the following exchange, based on conversations that I have had:

Liberal: “Our country should not have any trouble affording [insert Liberal pet project du jour]. We are the richest country in the world” (a line repeated to me ad nauseum)

Conservative: “Is someone with an annual income of $150,000 rich?”

(national GDP of roughly $15 trillion)

Liberal: “yes”

Conservative: “Is someone with an annual income of $150,000 that already owes $1,300,000 and $15,000 in new credit card debt rich”?

(Government debt obligations of $130 trillion plus $1.5 trillion in annual debt)

Liberal: ??

Conservative: “This is where we are as a country today!” (national + state debt plus entitlements, in trillions).

Does anyone have any better ideas on how to get this simple idea across to Liberals….that we are flat broke?

Democrat, Corruptocrat!

Democrats are the friends of big business, Conservatives are the friends of small business. Democrat government inevitably ratchets its way to corruptocracy.

If you don’t agree with this, can we at least agree that Democrats favor highly regulated economies and societies and conservatives don’t?

Let me explain with two examples.

1) The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story about how the EPA has decided that milk, because it contains 4% butterfat, should be regulated under the same environmental control standards as petroleum. Consequently, dairy farmers will have to file Federally approve emergency plans on how to deal with “oil spills” and such. Large dairies (some dairies in California milk 10,000 or more cows at a time) will probably be able to comply. Small dairies (goat and sheep milk farms, Vermont dairy producers etc. ) are just out of luck. I happen to know something about the dairy industry – it’s a highly politicized, highly subsidized industry that operates on very thin margins. I’m sure that they will come to an accommodation with the EPA and Federal Government…at a very steep price, politically and $-wise!

2) As it becomes increasingly clear the degree to which Obama Care really is a pig-in-a-poke, there is frantic activity to opt out of it. The numbers of entities that have received waivers from ObamaCare (other than Congress) magically rose from about 200 to 700+ immediately after the SOTU speech. Those entities are large companies and unions on the inside track. The way you get a waiver is to have a lobbyist obtain it on your behalf. Money exchanges hands. Large companies can afford this, small companies…out of luck! If ObamaCare is so great, why the rush by Congress, favored businesses and union to obtain waivers?

Increased regulation is inversely proportional to lobbying activity. The less regulation there is, the less the need to influence government. The more regulation, the more the need to petition the royal aristocracy at a heavy price. The need to petition our government for redress under regulations fostered by our government is a corrupting influence. If you lack influence and can’t make payment, you are out of the equation. Here in Chicagoland, we know all about this. Here is what happens:

Society sediments into three classes: a) an aristocratic Democrat nomenklatura that controls the regulatory and judiciary structures of society; b) a wealthy, economic class that can afford to exchange favors for regulatory exemptions and waivers…at a price; c) a lumpen proletariat, outside of the power structures, imprisoned into forced into regulatory straight-jackets (taxable prey…if you will) that they will never be able to escape unless willing to surrender at the price of their souls. It is this last class that pays the bills for the others. This isn’t new…despite its “progressive” tag, it’s a regression to 19th Century economic “shakedown” realities.

My entire career, I have been a champion of entrepreneurs and small companies. They are vital to our society and economy, as innovators, risk-takers and employers. I would hate to see this glorious period end as we slouch toward third-world corruptocracy.

I know that Democrats mouth have historically mouthed platitudes about looking after the “little guy”. I would like to think that only the truly moronic and armchair philosophers walled into their temples of abstract theory can fail to see how Orwellian and corrupting these platitudes are.

Have we as a nation arrived at a point where we can stop this from happening or is it inevitable? A Jewish relative once remarked that no Jew sleeps without two shoes under his bed stuffed with a roll of cash, in case of a quick getaway. I am starting to understand his point.

Democrat success stories

Incredibly, from the U.K.’s left-wing Guardian, comes a photo essay of what happens when Democrats are given the opportunity to put their economic and political theories to work: welcome to the future….


h/t smalldeadanimals.com

Political violence: from whence does it emanate

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” – President Barack Hussein Obama

I posted this as a comment to Book’s previous post, but have now posted it independently as a challenge to all of us Bookworm salon aficionados.

Here’s the premise: virtually all the political violence that has happened in America as come from people associated with the Democrat and/or the Left.

Here’s my list thus far (continuous updating):


  1. Mass. Sen. Charles Sumner beaten by S. Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks over perceived insults made in speech by Brooks (1856).
  2. John Wilkes Booth (anti-Republican Democrat) assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Southern night riders and the KKK during Reconstruction and into the mid-1900s. (Democrats) – question: do we count each of the lynchings as separate acts of violence?
  4. Chicago Haymarket riot (1886)
  5. Pres. McKinley’s 1901 assassination by Leon Frank Czolgosz (Leftwing anarchist)
  6. Sedition Act of 1918 by Woodrow Wilson (Progressive Democrat)
  7. Assassination attempt on FDR, killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, by Guiseppe Zangara in 1933 (left-wing anarchist)
  8. FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII (Democrat progressive)
  9. FALN attack against Pres. Harry Truman (communist)
  10. Sheriff Bull Connors, Gov. George Wallace (Democrats)
  11. John Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (communist)
  12. Pres. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”
  13. 1968 Democrat Convention
  14. Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan (leftwing Palestinian supporter)
  15. Sarah Jane Moore’s attempted assassination of Pres. Gerald Ford
  16. Berkeley People’s Park riot in 1969 (campus socialists, communists and anarchists)
  17. Students for a Democratic Society aka SDS (communist)
  18. Bombing (1970) of Math Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison (anti-war communists)
  19. Symbionese Liberation Army (communists)
  20. American Indian Movement (AIM) killing of FBI agents at Wounded Knee (socialist American Indian activists)
  21. The Weathermen, incl. Dohrn and Ayers (communist)
  22. Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN bombings (communist)
  23. Black Panthers (Left-wing socialist/communist)
  24. James Jones of Jonestown fame (apostolic socialism)
  25. Earth Liberation Front (ELF)
  26. Attack on Branch Davidians (Janet Reno, Clinton Administration)
  27. Ted Kaczynski – Unabomber (leftwing anarchist and environmental fanatic, Gore acolyte)
  28. Left-wing violence, destruction and physical assaults at 1999 G-20 meeting in Seattle.
  29. Attack on Washington, D.C. Holocaust Memorial by James Wenneker von Brunn (anti-U.S. socialist sympathizer)
  30. Left-wing violence, destruction, physical assaults and weapons convictions at 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis.
  31. Joe Stack, Austin IRS bomber (anti-Republican, anti-capitalist, anti-wealthy people)
  32. Physical attacks on conservative speakers at university campuses
  33. Multiple physical attacks against Tea Party rallies by SEIU and others (2009).
  34. Shooting of pro-life demonstrator James Pouillon in Owosso, MI (2009)
  35. Physical assault by S. Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge against student, caught on video.
  36. Discovery Center attack and hostage-taking by James Lee in Sept. 2010 (leftwing environmentalist)


  1. John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry (?)
  2. Attacks on abortion clinics and murders and attempted murders of abortion providers (conservative Christian group-affiliated (?) individuals)
  3. Firearm attack by Jim D. Adkisson against Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, claiming opposition to its policies (2008)
  4. 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing by Eric Robert Rudolph (see “attacks on abortion clinics” above).


Please delete, amend or add-to the list as you see fit.

Or, let’s have even more fun: how about a comparable list of CONSERVATIVE acts of political violence?

We shall then be able to offer two lists for posterity.

Comments and contributions? Please make them as specific as possible.


I have broken these out into two lists and will make additions as they come in.


OK…I’m convinced. I’ve taken the Tuscon, Ariz. shooting off of the “Left” column.

Democrat priorities

We’re looking at a potential financial meltdown, and the lame duck Congress manages to find the time to send Obama a bill to mute the volume on TV commercials.  Is it any surprise that Americans are absolutely and completely disgusted with Washington?

Your Democrat government at work

I think Nancy’s new motto should be “La, la, la!  I caaan’t hear you!”

Spelling it out

Since warnings labels seem to be dominating the news (that cigarette thing), Doug Ross has some suggestions for political warning labels.

A smogasbord of interesting stuff

Apropos my apparent fascism, one neocon, an former Communist, and also an Italian Jew, suggests that supporting Israel may be enough to earn that appellation from the Left.  (H/t Soccer Dad)

Speaking of Soccer Dad, at his blog we have another reminder that Ataturk‘s western nation is vanishing, to be replaced by a hardline Islamic nation.

As a companion piece to three depressing posts about Islam’s ascendancy vis a vis Christianity, Bruce Kesler introduces us to an organization that’s trying to challenge discrimination against Christians.

I’ve mentioned that I use my “real” Facebook as a means, very politely and disingenuously, to challenge my liberal friend’s strident, usually unthinking, worldviews.  (All some of them, I admit, are a lost cause, whom I keep as friends only for the amusement value.)  Turns out I’m not the only one.  Here are some techniques if you’d like to use facebook as a gentle means to return some of your lost liberal friends to the real world.

The Anchoress has a great memory.  Back in 2004, when liberals lost, they went out of their way to make loud apologies to other Americans for failing to win the good fight to save the political world from Bush.  This time around, they’re remarkably silent.

It’s not just that Obama is again loudly criticizing Israel (all the while managing to keep his mouth shut about Palestinian behavior).  It’s that he uses a Muslim nation as the forum for his criticism.  I can’t quite articulate it, but there’s something even lower than the usual low about doing that.

Union bosses are content to kill the goose that lays the golden egg (that would be the American economy, by the way).  Union rank and file is, apparently, less thrilled about that short-sighted approach to their lives and livelihoods.

I’m worried that we’re showing hubris by getting all excited about Pelosi’s decision to retain her leadership status.  (Here’s an example from Roger Simon, whose writing is always so delicious.)  Nancy is vile.  Nancy is dishonest.  Nancy is intellectually stupid.  Nancy is all that.  But she’s also got a feral knack for manipulating people (aided, no doubt, by her dishonesty), and I have no doubt that the core players (Soros, the Chicago people) are behind her move because they think it will benefit them.  I don’t know how it will benefit them, but I’m neither manipulative nor dishonest.  We should certainly feel free to laugh, but I’d still keep my hand on my weapons around that woman.

I’ve been trying to explain to my kids all the reasons I despite the UN.  (This is a subject that comes up annually, because I refuse to give “coins to UNICEF.”)  Here’s a good, albeit merely symbolic reason, for loathing that antisemitic tyranny that elevates every tin-pot dictator to meaningful power, all of it aimed against Israel.

Oh, and here’s a good article about what constitutes real “progress.”  (By the way, how many old school Democrats do you think appreciate the way they’re now classified as “Progressives,” which is an entirely different political animal.  For all its whining about its inability to communicate over right wing noise, the Left is miraculously adept at manipulating language.)  (H/t New Editor)

“Why I voted Democrat” (and it’s not because I’m smart or informed) *UPDATED*

American Digest is getting lots of hits for this list, and deservedly so.  It surely explains what’s happening in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, etc.

UPDATE:  And if you want something that will make you laugh, this will.  I need to laugh.  I’m bummed, although not surprised, about California.

UPDATE II:  SGT Dave said in a comment that the call for Boxer and Brown was made with only 8% of votes counted (which assertion made sense, ’cause the call came in practically minutes after the polls closed).  That really gets my goat.  No one should ever concede until the last vote is counted.  Statistical projections are not votes.

Last I heard, it appears that Renee Elmers won against the execrable Bob Etheridge, but he isn’t yet conceding.  Although it galls me to say it, I think he’s right.  Although I sincerely hope he loses, it’s not over ’til all the votes are counted.

What a difference a half a generation and a little geography make *UPDATED*

I was very flattered that neo-neocon used one of my posts to examine how she, when still a liberal, thought about Republicans.  Her primary point is that, because she is just a few years older than I, she still remembers a Republican era in America that wasn’t bad.  She has Eisenhower memories, while my Republican memories were all Nixon.  In the same way, her memories of the Civil Rights movement focused on actual bad Democrats, while the re-hashes I got in the 1970s had already whitewashed the Democrat party of all complicity with Jim Crow.  I think she’s right.  I came of age when the Republican brand was sold as tainted goods to those who had no memories of the original.

One other difference, though, is that I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In that venue, Republican hatred was pretty much the air we breathed.  But San Francisco was my home, and it has always been a lovely city, so I never really questioned the attitude.  It was only when I went to UC Berkeley, which offers San Francisco’s politics on steroids, except without any of San Francisco’s charm, that I started, slowly, wondering if I should espouse the views held so fervently by such very icky people.

It was dreadfully hard for me to question my unthinking assumptions, and took me way too long, but I’m so glad I did.

UPDATE:  This is the perfect video to insert here, because it demonstrates with ugly emphasis how I was taught to think about conservatives:

Hat tip:  Paul Rahe at Ricochet

Maybe being elite means you’re really good at being stupid

One after another, our intellectual betters on the Democrat/Progressive side of the political spectrum have assured us that the American people are simply too stupid to appreciate Obama’s greatness, let alone the Democrat Congress’ greatness.  They may have a point about American stupidity.  And if the Democrats/Progressives are the elite of America, that clearly means that they are the most stupid.  Exhibit A, complete with guy in brownshirt outfit:

Hat tip:  Ricochet

[What’s really funny is that, after my firefox crashed when I was halfway through writing the post caption, I picked up with a different post caption, without editing the original writing left over from the first, abortive, effort.  This left my title illiterate.  I’ve corrected the problem, but it’s a good reminder to me not to be too smug.  I’ll stop at being just a little smug.]

San Francisco sign threatens Fiorina and Whitman — by guest blogger Ms. GW *UPDATED*

UPDATE from Bookworm: Poor Enrico’s. Because its name features prominently on the building, people are assuming it posted the sign. It did not. From Enrico’s facebook page:

You may have received an email about a sign that says “FU (spelled out) Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina” asking you to call Enrico’s Restaurant to complain. Enrico’s is not responsible for the sign. It was put there by the Law offices of Tony Serra who has offices above Enrico’s. Enrico’s,like most businesses, doesn’t take political stands and is not responsible for the sign.

And now back to Ms. GW’s original post:

San Francisco sign threatens Fiorina and Whitman

This vulgar sign, spotted in San Francisco above a prominent restaurant at the corner of Kearney and Broadway, raises the same question one more time:

Why must the Left continue to demean female conservative candidates? How desperate is the Left?

To help answer the question, here’s some insight from a licensed psychotherapist who wrote on this very topic after observing the Left’s attacks on Sarah Palin two years ago:

As every woman knows, leering looks, lurid words, and veiled threats are intended to evoke terror. Sexual violence is a form of terrorism. In the wilding of Sarah Palin, the Left shows its true colors. Rather than shield the vulnerable, Leftists will mow down any man, woman, or child who gets in their way.

So: Leftists are bullies, plain and simple. The Left has been in power for two years, but apparently that’s not enough. Using vulgar language is a simple, common tactic to intimidate, repress and silence others. A “f*** you!” says plenty, and its recipient is instantly diminished. Words hurt and vulgar ones stop any conversation cold and do nothing to advance civilization. As our moms used to tell us, “People use bad words when they want attention or lack the language or creativity to express themselves.”

Interestingly, although it doesn’t show up clearly in this photograph, the sign bears the name of J. Tony Serra, a well-known San Francisco criminal defense attorney who has defended Huey Newton and the Black Panthers, Chol Soo Lee, Ellie Nesler, and other “society outcasts,” according to Serra’s website. Notably, Serra’s own website says, “Tony Serra has always known how to express the poetry of the law, while fighting in the ditches and dark alleys of legal practice.”

Poetry of the law, huh? Fighting in the ditches and dark alleys? If Serra did authorize this sign, most civilized folks will find nothing poetic or courageous in the threat of sexual violence against Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Let’s hope Tony Serra and the restaurant are not behind this sign . . . talk about desperately wanting attention.

And by the way, where’s the outrage from San Francisco’s politically correct women? Where’s the outrage from the San Francisco’s politically correct media? Where’s the National Organization for Women when we need them?

Ms. GW is a long-time Bay Area resident and woman who is appalled and offended by the Left’s attacks on any female candidate, conservative or  liberal.

UPDATE II from Bookworm: Please also check out the article on this subject that Ms. GW wrote for American Thinker’s blog. It’s similar, but raises some slightly different points you may find interesting.

Those wacky, extreme, ill-informed, violent, dishonest Democrat politicians *UPDATED*

[Re updates, I’m just slotting them in the appropriate categories, or creating new categories, as they come my way, without special fanfare.]

My liberal friend — the same one who thinks that, politically, Tea Partiers are American Nazis — is also convinced that Tea Party candidates are nut jobs, more suited for an insane asylum or remedial education class, than for high office.  My friend’s belief is actually unsurprising, since that is the song the media is singing.  After all, Christine O’Donnell flirted with witchcraft when she was 16 — an age, as we know, when all Democrats were already wise beyond their years.

When I countered that the Democrat politicians and candidates aren’t such a pretty bunch either, my friend was affronted:  “That’s not true.”  Au contraire, my friend.  It’s very true:

Democrats who don’t seem to like blacks very much:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Manhandled an eight year old black boy and accused him of attempting to steal Moran’s campaign-subsidized car from the parking lot at a rec center.

Harry Reid (Senator, Nevada):  Exists in a bizarre world where black politicians are virtuous if they are “light skinned” and lack a “negro dialect.”

Joe Biden (Vice President):  Professed some surprise at Obama’s political persona.  Apparently he was unaware that a black man could be “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”  Fortunately for VP Joe, Obama was willing to forgive and forget.

Democrats who don’t seem to like Christians very much:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Although a self-professed Catholic, publicly screamed at a priest that “You priests don’t know anything about abortion.”

Hillary Clinton (Ex-Senator, New York):  “I have to confess that it’s crossed my mind that you could not be a Republican and a Christian.”

Democrats who don’t seem to like the American military very much:

John Kerry (Senator, Massachusetts):  Said the following of his fellow American troops: “They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.”  Time did not mellow his views.  More than 30 years later, he “joked” that, if students didn’t work hard in school, “you get stuck in Iraq.”

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Insists that military service does not constitute public service.

Barack Obama (President):  Without his superior guidance in Afghanistan, American troops will continue “air raiding villages and killing civilians.”  Oh, yeah!

Democrats who don’t seem to like white people very much:

Barack Obama (President):  In speaking of his (white) grandmother, manages to imply that all whites fear blacks.

Cynthia McKinney (Ex-Congresswoman, Georgia):  Accuses government of conspiring to kill black people after Katrina.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Obama’s pastor):  Accuses government of conspiring to kill black people with AIDS.

Democrats who don’t seem to like America very much:

Chris Coons (Senator, Delaware):  Considering that America is the bastion of liberty and capitalism, his ongoing attachment to Marxism bespeaks a man who dislikes America’s core values.

Dennis Kucinich (Congressman, Ohio):  A cozy, decades-long relationship with the Communist party.

Bob Bowman (Democratic nominee for Representative, 2006, Florida):  A Truther.

Jim McDermott (Congressman, Washington):  Funded by groups with terrorist ties, he jetted to Iraq in 2002, to give Saddam Hussein some moral support.

Barbara Boxer (Senator, California):  “It’s a new day.  Communism is dead.  It’s even dead in Cuba.  I hate to say it, it’s dead.

John Kerry (Senator, Massachusetts):  It’s not just that stupid Americans join the military (see above); it’s that Americans are stupid.  I always love it when the C student (from a time when an Ivy League degree still meant something) lectures everyone else about intellectualism.

Democrats who don’t seem to like Jews very much:

Joe Sestak (Senator, Pennsylvania):  I don’t have specific links, just a career long decade of anti-Israel animus, summed up in this article.

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Blamed the Iraq war on the “Jewish lobby.”  Accused former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of coming to Washington to get President Bush’s permission to use American-funded weapons to “kill at will.”

Billy McKinney (Ex-Georgia State Legislator and father of Cynthia McKinney):  When she lost her seat in the House in 2002, Billy knew why:  “J-E-W-S.

Jimmy Carter (Ex-President, current pain-in-the-neck):  Says that Israel’s “apartheid” policies are worse than South Africa’s were; grossly misrepresents facts to blacken Israel’s reputation; and just generally loathes the nation and seeks its destruction.

Democrats who don’t seem to like Asians very much:

Loretta Sanchez (Congresswoman, California):  Went on Spanish TV and gave a venom-filled speech, encouraging Hispanics in her district to hate and fear Vietnamese.

Joe Biden (Vice-President):  Mocks East Asians from India for their accents and initiative.

Democrats who don’t seem to like the handicapped very much:

Bob Reilly (Assembly, New York):  This one is so embarrassing, as Reilly imitates a speech impaired young man, that I’m almost loath to include it here, but it deserves recognition for an example of the disgusting way in which Democrats demean the handicapped, whom they consider a locked-in constituency.

Barack Obama (President):  In an unfortunate, and manifestly unpracticed, attempt at humility, Barack Obama slams the Special Olympics.

Democrats who don’t seem to like women very much:

Barack Obama (President):  Obama has been silent on the subject lately, but early in his presidency he seemed unusually obsessed with the merits of enveloping women in hijabs.  What gives with that?

Democrats who openly boast about spending other people’s money:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Boasted that, if he became chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee, he intended to “earmark the sh*t out of it.”

Democrats who think “rules, what rules?”

Alcee Hastings (Congressman, Florida):  “There are no rules.  We make ’em up as we go along.

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  After attacking the Catholic church based upon its stand regarding homosexuality, changed the wording of his statement in the Congressional Record, an act forbidden by House rules.

Alex Sink (Candidate for Governor, Florida):  Cheated during a debate, and was stupid enough to be caught on video doing it.  If you’re going to cheat, for goodness sake, be sneaky.

Sheila Jackson Lee (Congresswoman, Texas):  Kept the campaign going at the polls and harassed poll workers.  If nothing else, you’ve got to admire her chutzpah.  And to take that one step further, clearly figuring that the best defense is a good offense, she’s asking the Holder “Justice” Department to investigate Tea Party harassment at the polls.  To clarify, she’s not claiming Tea Partiers are being harassed; she accuses them of doing the harassing.  Remember, the definition of chutzpah is the man who murders both his parents, and then throws himself on the court’s mercy because he’s an orphan.

Democrats who are comfortable consorting with and taking money from known Islamic terrorists and their enablers:

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  Received (and tried to keep) $11,450 in campaign contributions from Muslim donors tied to terrorism.  He was reluctantly returned $2,000 he got from another Muslim who openly supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

Barack Obama (President):  Hangs with Hamas and Hezbollah sympathizers.

Democrats who can’t keep their fists to themselves:

Cynthia McKenney (Ex-Congresswoman, Georgia):  Got into a physical scuffle with Capitol police when she tried to enter Congress without id.

Charlie Wilson (Congressman, Ohio): Repeatedly beat his wife until she collapsed.

Bob Etheridge (Congressman, North Carolina): Assaulted two young men trying to ask him questions on a public sidewalk.

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia): Has admitted, as a former boxer, that he likes to hit people, something that is okay within the realms of the boxing ring or MMS cage. Moran’s problem is that he can’t keep that urge confined to sports. At a bar fight in 1988, one of the witnesses was so frightened by Moran (who was then mayor of Alexandria), he stated “I realized I was looking into the eyes of a madman.” Moran has also attacked a fellow congressman on the floor of the House itself. Not content with just hitting people, Moran also likes violent threats, as when he screamed at Republican Rep. Dan Burton “I’ll break your nose.”

Democrats who have unusually close relationships with prostitutes:

Barney Frank (Senator, Massachusetts):  Boyfriend was running a gay prostitute ring out of Frank’s house.

Eliot Spitzer (Ex-Governor, New York):  Repeatedly engaged in sex with prostitutes, while serving as Governor.

Democrats who say crazy, mean, ill-informed and sometimes scarily honest things:

Pete Stark (Congressman, California):  Wouldn’t “dignify” a conservative (and senior) constituent by peeing on him.  Also, in a nice moment of Democrat honesty, says “the federal government can do most anything this country.”

Alan Grayson (Congressman, Florida):  Asserted that “The Republican health care plan is this: ‘Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.’”  Compounded that lack of graciousness by adding later “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.”

Jim Moran (Congressman, Virginia):  “[I]f the Republicans were running in Afghanistan, they’d be running on the Taliban ticket as far as I can see.”

Maurice Hinchey (Congressman, New York):  Believes that George Bush intentionally let Osama Bin Laden get away as a justification for invading Iraq.

Raul Grijalva (Congressman, Arizona):  Demanded a boycott of his own state.

Hank Johnson (Congressman, Georgia):  Worried that overpopulation could cause Guam to “tip over and capsize.”

Nancy Pelosi (Congresswoman, California):  Believes that natural gas (a fossil fuel) should be encouraged as an alternative to . . . yes, fossil fuels!

Patrick Kennedy (Congressman, Rhode Island):  The rant.

Anthony Wiener (Congressman, New York):  A health care rant.  (If you were on a public bus next to this guy, you’d change seats, very carefully.)

Nancy Pelosi (Congresswoman, California):  “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”  Of course, this is the same woman who assured us that unemployment benefits are the best possible stimulus for the economy.

Maxine Waters (Congresswoman, California):  That little socialist Freudian slip.

Alvin Greene (Senate candidate, South Carolina):  There are no words.  Just no words.

Patty Murray (Senator, Washington):  Gave a loving homage to that road-building, school-building, day-care building wonder — Osama bin Laden.  And then asked, why can’t we be more like him?

Al Sharpton (Gadfly):  In 2003, on the subject of gun control, he said “”We must do whatever we can to regulate how guns are used. I’ve been the victim of a stabbing.”

Barack Obama (President):  This was a non-verbal statement, but he twice gave the finger to his political opponents, a fact instantly recognized by his audience which, both times, roared with approval.

Democrats who have, at best, only a glancing relationship with the truth:

Richard Blumenthal (Senator, Connecticut):  Lies about having served in Vietnam.

Barack Obama (President):  Explicitly denies the depth and intensity of his relationship with ACORN; lied repeatedly about his past plans for American health care and about the effect ObamaCare would have on Americans; he lied about the stimulus (lied, not just puffed, which is arguably forgivable advertising); he lied about using federal financing to fund his campaign; he lied blatantly about his before-and-after statements re negotiating with terrorists; and he’s lied about picayune things such as audience responses to his speeches.  I’ve written two long-ish essays about the nature of Obama’s lies.  If you’re interested, they’re here and here.

Democrats who have egos that go beyond doctor recommended norms for good health:

Barbara Boxer (Senator, California): “Don’t Call me Ma’am.”

Barack Obama (President):  Publicly hails his own godlike ability to control the planet.

Al Gore (Ex-Senator, Ex-VP, current climate demagogue):  He gets to leave his car idling for an hour.

Harry Reid (Senator, Nevada):  Harry saved the world.  Yes.  Yes, he did.

Joe Biden (Vice President, and plagiarizer):  He’s smarter than you are.  Much smarter than you are.  (Or he cheats better.  I’m not sure.)

Democrats who don’t know much about history (or English or geography or other exciting subjects taught in middle school):

Sheila Jackson Lee (Congresswoman, Texas):  For those of you who enjoy the alternate history book genre, you’ll be happy to know that the South Vietnam still exists.  Woo-hoo!  She was also distressed to find that the famous photo of Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on . . . Mars . . . was missing.

Corrine Brown (Congresswoman, Florida):  Gave a marvelously mangled and factually inaccurate speech congratulating the Florida gators.  Even Pat Paulson couldn’t have done better.  (Although I do like her good cheer and enthusiasm.)

Barack Obama (President):  Obama is a staggeringly ill-informed man.  Here is just a short list of his gaffes as to basic subjects:  He asserts that the U.S. has 58 states; the thinks “Austrian” is the language of German speaking Austria; Obama is unfamiliar with, and mispronounces the term corpsman; he thinks that there was a “bomb” that fell on Pearl Harbor; he claims an uncle who was part of the liberation of Auschwitz (which makes sense only if Obama’s family history really is “Red” and his uncle was in the Red Army that liberated that camp in Poland); his failure to understand economics is frightening; and he wrongly thinks that FDR directly “engaged” with our enemies during WWII.  If you have more examples, send them to me and I’ll add.

Peggy West (Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors):  Arizona doesn’t border Mexico.  (Who knew?)

Joe Biden (Vice President):  Puts FDR in the White House when the stock market crashed (which happened three years before Roosevelt was elected) and has him talking on television (which came about decades after the stock market crash).  Clearly, another one for those fans of the “alternative history” genre.

Democrats who talk to dead people (as opposed to just getting votes from dead people):

Hillary Clinton (Ex-Senator, New York):  Hillary’s famous kaffee klatches with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Democrats who say “Constitution?  We don’t need no stinking Constitution?”

Phil Hare (Congressman, Illinois):  Speaking, I’m sure, for all Democrats, when he says he doesn’t “worry about the Constitution.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Help wanted from you, my incredibly knowledgeable readers

One of the points my liberal friend has made in the last few talks we’ve had is that the Tea Party candidates are dangerous nuts (witness Christine O’Donnell’s flirtation with witchcraft when she was 16).  He claims that the Democrat candidates and politicians are models of normalcy.  I was wondering if you could help me put together a sourced list of insane, intemperate, bizarre Democrats, both candidates and elected politicians.  I’ll get it started:

Alan Grayson (D-Fla):  “The Republican health care plan is this: ‘Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.'”  “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.”

Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio):  Brutal wife beater.

Bob Etheridge (D-NC):  Assaulter of citizens.

Pete Stark (D-CA):  Wouldn’t dignify conservatives by peeing on them.

More, please?

Californians: Vote a straight Republican ticket

My friend Sally Zelikovsky says it in the clearest words possible:  Unless conservatives in California vote for the Republicans, we will have a Sacramento government made up entirely of San Francisco Democrats.  If that horrible outcome sounds painfully obvious to you, you don’t know California.

There are two dynamics in California that are a problem.  First, conservatives don’t like the Republican candidates.  (They’re right not to.  Fiorina is lovely — and may she get well soon — but the others are “eh” at best.)  This means California conservatives may be tempted to (a) sit this one out or (b) vote for a write-in or minor candidate.  Those are luxuries of ordinary elections, though.  In California, this election is not about a favored conservative candidate winning; it’s about making sure the Democratic candidate loses.  And the only way to do that is with vast numbers of votes for the Republican, even if that requires some nose holding.

The other dynamic is Prop. 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana.  Have you wondered by George Soros is promoting it?  Do you think George Soros gives a flying whatsit about whether Californians have legal marijuana?  I can assure you that he doesn’t.  But he knows one group that does care a great deal, and it’s a group that votes reliably Democrat:  young people.  Yup.  Prop. 19 is a “get out the youthful Democrat vote” effort.  This means that, while most young people around America are sitting out this election, there is a very good chance that California’s young people will be heading to the polls.

So if you’re a Californian, and you have memories, increasingly faint memories, of a true Golden State, VOTE and VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

No compromise on American values — by guest blogger Zhombre

Mike Pence asked me for money today. He seems like a good guy. I hope he wins.

Life, liberty and limited government, he wrote, these are the cherished ideals of our nation, and they are ideals from which we must never stray.

Indeed they are. Truly American ideals. As David Mamet, writes, as American as apple pie or stuffing the ballot box.

But I’m not giving money to Mr. Pence. I am tapped out at this point. I have already sent small contributions to Sharron Angle, Allen West, Dan Webster (who is running in Florida against the blunt, swaggering, third rate demagogue Alan Grayson, of course lionized by the so-called progressives), Sean Bielat (Barney Frank’s opponent), even Christine O’Donnell in Delaware (seems like a nice young lady, maybe she’s a flake, but the Senate already includes Al Franken, so the bar for flakiness has been lowered).

But I digress. The point I want to make is this: HOLD ‘EM ACCOUNTABLE. Republicans will no doubt win big in November. But, as PJ O’Rourke says, this is not an election as much as it’s a restraining order served on Democrats.

The Republican party should not get the idea that they have any intrinsic value, or merit. Damn them if they do. They got the boot in 2006 and 2008 and now want to convey the idea that “we get it.” Do they? That remains to be seen. Hornswoggle tends to outrun and outlast good intentions.

We the People are the source of political power and legitimacy. Says so in the Constitution and Constitution is the law of the land and the basis of our governance. A political party is merely an instrument of the people, a tool to be reworked or cast aside if it fails to do the job you set it to. Its institutional life is finite and its integrity can be bartered away by small weak men, and women, who believe they are something other than small weak men, and women.

So let me reiterate: the Republicans must be held accountable past November. And into 2011, and into 2012, and thereafter. The battle does not end. It’s not never-ending jihad, of course, but it is a long running conflict in the West between the people who would govern themselves,thank you very much, and the people who would rule over other people because We Know Better. Than you bitter clingers. Than you rabbit people. Than you teabaggers. Than you, well, you get the idea.

You don’t do the victory dance, get drunk and then go home to sleep it off and wake the next day to business as usual. As Franklin said (however apocryphal it may be) it’s a republic if you can keep it. Most haven’t been kept. History, like the casino, bets you lose. Study history: republics founder and fail. Machiavelli asserted so, and Cicero, for all his patriotism and fine words, got his head chopped off by Antony’s agents, with Octavian’s acquiescence. But Washington did not make himself emperor (if you want to see a contrast, google Iturbide). We’ve prided ourselves on American exceptionalism: America is the land of reinvention, restlessness and winning the trifecta. I am willing to take that bet.


Put aside the fact that Bawney Fwank sent his boyfwiend out to heck his opp0nent.  What I like about this video clip is Sean Bielat‘s poise and humor in handling said boyfwiend’s heckling:

Bielat seems to have mastered many of the US Marine’s Leadership Traits which is, in itself, a recommendation for a leadership role in our nation.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (And their friends.)

Don’t listen to what Chris Coons says, pay attention to what he does, and to the people who support the fruits of his labors.

And if you’re a voter in Delaware, remember that the media has a vested interest in doing anything possible to destroy a Republican candidate with a past while, at the same time, assiduously hiding the Democratic candidate’s past.  You were already on the receiving end of the media shaft in 2008.  Why in the world would you let the media do it to you again in 2010?

Military ballots in Illinois

This is how it works if you’re a Democrat:  They’ve got your back, fighting against our nation’s mortal enemies (so you don’t have to), and you respond by stabbing them in their collective back, by denying them their constitutional right to have a say in our government.

Why I’m voting Republican

I told my friend Don Quixote about the way in which liberals were boasting that the crowds at One Union exceeded those at Restoring Honor, despite the fact that the pictorial evidence showed the opposite to be true.  Don Quixote, a lifelong conservative, responded by asking “Do liberals really believe what they say?”

I came back with another anecdote.  This time, I told him about Katha Pollitt, the very well-known Leftist writer, whose emails emerged when JournoList, the coterie of liberal journolists, came to light.  In the email, Katha Pollitt complains about the incredible strain that comes with trying to assure American’s that Leftist politicians haven’t committed heinous, immoral, unethical or unsavory acts:

Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.

Put simply, Pollitt knew the facts — Clinton was at best a masher and at worst a rapist — but she deliberately lied to advance her political agenda.

Don Quixote responded that, while both of those anecdotes were illuminating, he wasn’t asking about the facts,* he was asking about the ideology.  “Oh,” I said.  “They certainly believe the ideology.  I know I did.”  He was curious as to what I believed.

My answer was a simple one:  “When I was a college Democrat, I believed that Republicans are evil people who hate blacks, children and poor people, who want to force everyone to convert to Christianity, and who want to weaponize America to take over the world.”  In other words, my understanding of my ideology was simply that I, as a Democrat, existed to thwart evil Republicans.  By voting straight down the “D” column on my ballot, I was protecting blacks, children and poor people, and keeping the proselytizers from my state house.

I believed all of this absolutely.  I was unconcerned about more sophisticated issues of limited government; the moral rot of welfare; the economic damage wrought by government’s heavy hand in the marketplace; the genuine threat totalitarianism posed to world stability and American security; the danger of allowing government to pick winners and losers amongst its own citizens through taxation, spending, legislation and police action; etc.

All I knew was that Republicans were evil, and I was not evil.  They hated people, and I wanted people to do well.  Whatever they were for, I was against it.

It turns out that, while I (thank goodness) have changed, those on the Left have not.  While I’m thinking about the way in which policies advance goals (because Republicans do want people to do well, not just specific classes, races, or religions of people; and Republicans do want the best world for the greatest number of American children; and Republicans do want maximum economic well-being for the greatest number of people), Democrats are still engaged in the simplistic name calling that characterized my thinking 30 years ago.

How do I know?  Because of a video that’s floating around on facebook amongst the liberal cadre.  It’s just one more effort to energize the useful idiots who so reliably turned up at the polls two years ago:

It’s this kind of thing that makes me so glad I grew up and started thinking.  Those who think are usually conservatives; those who mindlessly emote seem to be Progressives.


*On the subject of facts, since my daughter is studying U.S. History this year (although she assured me that I needn’t worry because, “my teacher loves America”), I had occasion to recall John Adams’ most beautiful words about the immutably of cold, hard facts:  “Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictums of our passions, they cannolt alter the state of facts and evidence.”  Unless, of course, you work for the liberal media.

The Democratic party: parenting as imagined by teenagers

One of the routine accusations leveled against socialism is that it seeks to usurp the role of the adult in society.  If the government provides cradle to grave care, the people don’t have to.  They don’t have to raise their children, they don’t have to feed their families, they don’t have to plan for their old age — they never have to grow up.  The Nanny state is really “the parent state,” with the state filling the role that, in a more traditional society, individual adults filled.

America, however, always has to be different, and it’s created the parent state with a twist:  this is the parent state as imagined by your average 13 year old.  The evidence of this abounds.


Teenager:  “It’s not my fault.  He made me hit him.”  Teenagers aren’t big on personal responsibility.

Democrats:  It’s not our fault, even though our party owns Congress and our president voluntarily assumed the position of ultimate responsibility in America.  Instead, it’s George Bush’s fault, it’s the Republican’s fault, it’s conservatives’ fault, it’s Sarah Palin’s fault, it’s the fault of American voters who are too stupid to realize how great we are, etc.


Teenager:  “But that’s not fair!!!”  Up to a point, teenagers are in love with equality of outcome.  If anyone gets something they don’t have, it’s not fair!!! There are limits to this principle, however.  It’s entirely fair if the teenager has something that others don’t have.

Democrats:  Although the Democrats include some of the poorest people in America, they also include some of the richest (John Kerry, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, etc.), and it is the richest who drive the Democrat train.  They think it’s unfair that there are poor people in America.  Their remedy, rather than sacrificing their own wealth, or ensuring full equality of opportunity, is to take away other people’s money and redistribute it according to the politically correct algorithm of the day.


Teenager:  “I don’t believe that we don’t have the money for that Juicy jacket.  Just put it on a credit card.”  Teenagers believe that parents are the money tree.  It is inconceivable to them that money is a finite resource, that it takes hard work to earn it, and that it must be spent wisely, with a significant portion saved as a financial cushion.

Democrats:  The Democrats view the taxpayers as parents who have an unending supply of money available to pay off the Democrats’ every whim.  The Democrats view our children, and our children’s children as useful credit cards, who will pay off today’s debt tomorrow.


I’ve got to head off to work now, but I bet you can easily think of other analogies between teenagers and Democrats.  There’s an overarching theme, of course.  Teenagers are utterly self-centered.  Even their better impulses are untempered by any notion of self-sacrifice.  If they want to hand money to the beggar woman on the corner, their first instinct isn’t to dig into their own pockets; instead, they’ll ask mom to empty her purse.  The good thing about most teenagers, though, is that they mature.  And the ones who don’t become Democrats.

The Democrats and the bad massage

When I was studying for the State Bar exam, a long, long time ago, my mom suggested that I get myself a massage, to help me with the tension.  It seemed like a good suggestion, I so dutifully took myself to a highly recommended masseuse.

The masseuse began working on my neck, and I hit the ceiling:  “Ow!  That hurts, that hurts.”  Her response was interesting.  She could have said, Oh, I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize you were so stiff/sensitive.  Let me change my technique.”  (Adapting to failed circumstances.)  Or she could have said, “Yeah, I know that hurts, but this is the only way to bring down the muscle spasm.”  (Explaining why some pain was ultimately a good thing.)

What amazed me was that she didn’t do either of those things.  Instead, she said, “This is not supposed to hurt, it’s supposed to feel good,” and proceeded with exactly the same painful technique.  Narcissism in action. I, being wimp in action, lay there and let her hurt me.

If you think about it, though, her approach is precisely the same approach we’re seeing from the Democrats with regard to the economy.  They’re not stopping, examining the situation and changing tactics, despite the manifest evidence that their original tactics (spending America’s way out of debt) are not working.  They’re not explaining to the American people that the current pain is a necessary step along the way to America’s ultimate economic recovery (perhaps because they can’t make that statement with a straight face).  Instead, in the face of pain and failure, they’re telling us “this feels good, you’re getting better, this is the way it’s supposed to be.”

Although I was a wimp, which meant I put up with the pain while I was on her massage table, I was still a consumer with mobility in a marketplace.  Once I staggered out of there, I never went back.  Instead, I found a gentler, more effective masseuse.  (And I passed the Bar, which alleviated my stress considerably.)

Americans, however, have a very limited marketplace right now.  Unless they can get some Republicans into Congress post haste, they’re stuck with this bad massage until at least 2012.  If they’re really unlucky, by 2012, their fiscal muscles will be so damaged, it will take prolonged therapy to remedy them, if it’s even possible.

My point?  Vote.  Vote for the Republican.  Ignore the fact that your Republican is being slandered by opponents and by the media.  Ignore the fact that your Republican, who is a citizen new to the political process, may make some missteps.  Ignore the fact that your Republican might have some ideas with which you don’t agree.  In this unique election year, the only thing that matters is killing the Democratic majority.

Help Daniel Webster refute Alan Grayson’s lies

I’m heading off to a client, so I don’t have time to blog.  Here’s all you need to know:

Rep. Alan Grayson is despicable, even by the low standards of despicable-ness currently emanating from the Democratic party.  His Republican opponent, Daniel Webster (and isn’t that a great American name) is currently being slandered and libeled at an unprecedented rate.  You can read the details here.

Unfortunately, because the Democratic party is the party of the rich, Grayson has a war chest ten times the size of Webster’s — which means that he can afford to promulgate these lies, but Webster may not have the money to refute them. If you’d like to change this scenario, and help fund Webster’s advertising defense, please think about contributing here.

Remember, every penny counts.  Whether you contribute $1 or $1000, it’s all to the good.

(Also, check out Caleb Howe for more on Alan Grayson.)

‘Cause other people aren’t so thrilled about the Dems either

If you’re looking for posts providing substantive information about problems with myriad Democratic candidates in the upcoming election, this list, which a friend sent me, is a wonderful start.  As you can see, it’s organized by candidate name, but each link will lead you to a full length post about problems with that candidate.  If any one of these candidates is running in your district, you may find this information useful.  You know, you can drop polite little fact bombs into otherwise uninformed conversations.

Travis Childers
Dina Titus
Carol Shea-Porter
Ann Kuster
Harry Teague
John Hall
Michael Arcuri
Larry Kissell
Earl Pomeroy
Steve Driehaus
Mary Jo Kilroy
Zack Space
Kathy Dahlkemper
Bryan Lentz
Patrick Murphy
Chris Carney
Paul Kanjorski
John Spratt
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Roy Herron
Chet Edwards
Ciro Rodriguez
Glenn Nye
Tom Perriello
Denny Heck
Mike Oliviero
Julie Lassa
Steve Kagen
Steve Raby
Ami Bera
Joe Garcia
Trent Van Haaften
Stephene Ann Moore
John Callahan
Jon Hulburd
Jon Hurlburd
Stephen Pougnet
Lori Edwards
Ravi Sangisetty
Pat Miles
Tarryl Clark
Tom White
Matthew Zeller
Paula Brooks
Manan Trivedi
Brett Carter
Suzan Delbene
Colleen Hanabusa
Robert Dold
Cedric Richmond
Lisa Murkowski
Barbara Boxer
Michael Bennet
Alexi Giannoulias
Robin Carnahan
Paul Hodes
Lee Fisher
Joe Sestak
Harry Reid
Scott McAdams
Kendrick Meek
Charlie Crist
Jack Conway
Patty Murray
Russ Feingold
Richard Blumenthal
Joe Manchin
Chris Coons
Ron Wyden
Kirsten Gillibrand
Mike McMahon
Scott Murphy
Bill Owens
Heath Schuler
Charlie Wilson
Betty Sutton
Kurt Schrader
Mark Critz
Lincoln Davis
Rick Boucher
Gerry Connolly
Rick Larsen
Ann Kirkpatrick
Harry Mitchell
Jerry McNerney
John Salazar
Betsy Markey
Allen Boyd
Alan Grayson
Alan Grayson
Suzanne Kosmas
Jim Marshall
Debbie Halvorson
Bill Foster
Phil Hare
Baron Hill
Leonard Boswell
Frank Kratovil
Gary McDowell
Mark Schauer
Mike Ross
Dennis Cardoza
Christopher Murphy
John Barrow
Melissa Bean
Bruce Braley
Dave Loebsack
John Yarmuth
Chellie Pingree
Tim Walz
Russ Carnahan
Rush Holt
Carolyn McCarthy
Dan Maffei
Bob Etheridge
Mike McIntyre
David Wu
Jason Altmire
Tim Holden
David Cicilline
Jim Matheson
Ron Kind
Bobby Bright
Gabrielle Giffords
Jim Costa
Loretta Sanchez
Ed Perlmutter
Jim Himes
John Carney
Ron Klein
Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Walter Minnick
Joe Donnelly
Ben Chandler
Gary Peters
Ike Skelton
John Adler
Martin Heinrich

Loretta Sanchez launches racist attack against the Vietnamese *UPDATED*

Loretta Sanchez (D – Cal.) was caught bad mouthing both Vietnamese and Republicans:

What’s so funny about the video is the part when Sanchez attacks Van Tran, a Republican, as “anti-immigrant.”  Sanchez was born in California; Tran was born in Vietnam, and immigrated to this country in 1975.  For you young’uns, that was the year when, thanks to Democratic politics, the U.S. turned tail and ran, leaving hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese citizens at the mercy of the Communists.  (And we know how well that turned out in Cambodia.)

This is the worst type of race-baiting and pandering.  It appeals to people’s basest emotions, completing by-passing facts and logic.  I’d say Sanchez ought to be ashamed of herself, but I think she’s incapable of that emotion.

UPDATE:  If you want more in-depth information on this race — plus an example of remarkable prescience — check out Bruce Kesler’s post about this video.

The new breed of nouveau riche who try to rule our lives

Although I grew up without money (we lived a very marginal existence, to say the least), my mother came from old, old money.  On both parents’ side, the family wealth went back to the late Middle Ages.  There was nothing nouveau riche about my mom’s approach to wealth, and she passed the whole notion of old wealth along to me.  One of the main things I learned about classy old wealth is that it doesn’t show itself off.  (This was sort of moot for us, because we were too poor to show off anything at all except our poverty.)

I got a very good example of the whole “old wealth” approach to life when I went to school in England.  My favorite professor there taught 19th Century British history.  He had a charming turn of phrase, and just radiated kindness.  He always wore slightly ratty sweaters with moth holes in them, and his teeth were very British.  He had a posh accent, but that was the only giveaway that he came from what was at least a minimally privileged background.

It was only near the very end of the year that I learned a little more about him.  The ancestor from whom he got his surname was an incredibly important courtier during the reign of Elizabeth I.  His grandfather was an incredibly important politician during Queen Victoria’s reign.  His first cousin was one of the richest Dukes in England.  And so on.  But one never knew.  This was a guy who had humility bred into the bone.  He was a true gentleman and, as I said, a delightful teacher.

The nouveau riche, on the other hand, are flashy.  They live large, ridiculously large.  Kind of like this:

When he at last lost the Florida recount, Al Gore had lived for eight years in the vice president’s mansion, and owned two different houses: a brick Tudor across the Potomac in Arlington that had belonged to his wife Tipper’s family, and his family farm back in -Tennessee. Shortly, he bought a 20-room, 10,000-square-foot house in the Belle Meade section of Nashville, and embarked on a career in the private sector that would balloon his net worth into a substantial fortune, in the $100 million-plus range. At the same time, he began a second career as an anti-global warming crusader that won him a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar, but allowed him to use an endless procession of jet planes and motorcades as he went to a series of Save the Earth rallies, at which he urged people to live in a green and more modest manner, build smaller houses, use less heat and power, and drive and fly less.

In 2008, he acquired a houseboat, a 100-foot custom-built Fantasy Yacht estimated to cost between $500,000 and $1 million. In 2010, he bought a fourth house, a seaside estate in California, spending almost $9 million for a “gated ocean-view villa .  .  . with a swimming pool, spa, and fountains .  .  . wine cellar, terraces, six fireplaces, five bedrooms, and nine baths in more than 6,500 square feet.” In 2007, a study by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research revealed that Gore’s house in Nashville “devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours in 2006—more than 20 times the national average,” that his monthly gas bill averaged $1,080 and his electric bill $1,359. “Why would anyone need a fourth mansion?” asked the Huffington Post, which called “Gore’s commodity addiction” at odds with his professed belief in “simplicity of living, care for other beings,” and concern for the state of the earth.

All this was true, but at four houses, (two of them mansions), along with one boat, he was still a mansion short of John Kerry, the Democrats’ nominee in the 2004 cycle, who, when he married Teresa Heinz, widow of John Heinz, the Republican senator, fell heir to all this in one swoop. And some swoop it was, consisting of spectacular digs in five first class settings: the Heinz family house in Fox Chapel near Pittsburgh; a mansion in Georgetown; a beach house in Nantucket; a ski lodge in Idaho (shipped over stone by stone from Great Britain); and a $6.9 million town house on Boston’s Beacon Hill. The combined square footage of these spreads is unknown, but they had an aggregate value of almost $30 million when he was running for president in 2004.

To balance his ticket, he tapped John Edwards of North Carolina, who had made nearly $60 million in his prior career as a tear-jerking lawyer, and, while campaigning on behalf of children too poor to afford coats in the winter, was soon to start building a spread in his home state that seemed like four houses in one. The Carolina Journal reported that the main building was 10,400 square feet, connected by a 2,200-square-foot enclosure to a 15,600-square-foot “recreational building,” housing a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms, a swimming pool, a four story tower, and a room called “John’s Lounge.” Edwards, who talked incessantly of the poor, might have served them better if he had just built the main house and given the cost of the rest to a neighborhood charity. That would have bought a whole lot of coats.

In July 2010, as Bill and Hillary Clinton were throwing a $2-3 million-plus wedding for their daughter Chelsea (of which $11,000 went for a gluten-free wedding cake) and Michelle Obama was planning a lavish vacation to Spain’s Costa del Sol, the Boston Herald revealed that John Kerry was the owner of the Isabel, a 76-foot, $7 million yacht custom-made in New Zealand, which he had kept at a dock in Newport, Rhode Island, to avoid paying an estimated $500,000 in Massachusetts state tax. The boat, according to the brochure of the company, had two VIP suites (and one for the help), a wet bar, cold wine storage, and seated six around a custom-made table of Edwardian style ornate varnished teak. Add this to the Heinz-Kerrys’ five land-based places of residence, and they now have in all six luxury “houses,” each estimated at over $4 million, for a total of $36 million.

This is typical behavior for new wealth:  tacky display.  Absolutely nothing new with those particular carpetbaggers.

What is new, however, about all these new nouveaus is that they espouse redistribution for everyone else.  Having amassed their obscene wealth and shown it off for all it’s worth, they’re working as hard as they can to make sure that they’re the last of the breed.  When all their redistributionist political policies have gone into play, no one is going to be wealthy any more.

I used to think it was hypocrisy that powered these people’s engines, but I don’t think so anymore.  There’s more going on here.  Just as the British practice backdoor Communism, these people are practicing backdoor Oligarchy.  No wonder revolution — at the ballot box, not in the streets — is in the air.

H/t:  Neptunus Lex

Is the media trying for a little sleight of hand

You’ve probably seen the headlines saying that Alabama Rep. Bobby Wright “joked” that Pelosi might get sick and die before  he’s called upon to vote for her next year as the House leader.  I think that the “joke” is in exceptionally bad taste, but that’s not the issue.  What makes the little squiblet newsworthy is that Wright is a Democrat.

But what makes the whole thing really funny is the headline attached to the SF Chronicle’s reprinting of the AP story:

“Conservative Democrat jokes that Pelosi might die”

The actual news story, all three paragraphs, makes no reference whatsoever to the nature of Wright’s alleged conservatism.

I really wonder if the headline writers (whether at the Chron or at AP — I don’t know) are hoping that the average person who simply scans the news will carry away the belief that it was a conservative who made this joke, rather than a Democrat.  After all, as every lawyer knows, there are facts, and then there is spin.

Democratic arrogance

Great video:

(ht:  American Thinker)

One of the big regrets in my life is that I didn’t appreciate Reagan while he was president.  I was still an unthinking liberal, and accepted without analysis or suspicion the MSM’s repeated assurances that he was a dangerous and evil buffoon.

Message to the Democratic states: It’s not working

My brilliant brother-in-law put together a chart showing the correlation between a state’s debt load and it’s government (Democratic or Republican).  The chart’s statistics won’t come as a surprise to conservatives, but I bet they’d come as a big surprise to a whole lot of liberals:

I wish there was a simple, pithy way to suggest to the citizens of Democratically run states that they might want to try something different for a change.

Nancy’s sounding desperate

Nancy Pelosi may be mad at Robert Gibbs for admitting that the upcoming elections aren’t going to result in Democratic gains, but the fact is that she sounds pretty desperate herself in this email I got begging for funds:

Midnight tonight is your last chance to contribute to the DCCC before one of the most critical FEC deadlines of this election and the first since Republicans have experienced a surge in their fundraising.

It’s critical that House Democrats have a strong showing this month. The media and Washington pundits will view our fundraising totals as an indication of our strength to take on Republicans and their powerful special interest supporters in November.

Republicans have been claiming to have the momentum. We know that’s not true, and if you stand with me at this decisive moment in our campaign, we will make this clear to the world. We are just $35,919 away from our goal and are so committed to making this goal that all gifts today will be matched 2-to-1 by a group of generous Democratic donors.


This election comes down to a choice between going forward or going back to Republican rule and the same exact failed policies of the Bush agenda.

My question for you: Does she really think that, 18 months into Obama’s presidency, and 6 years into a Democratic controlled Congress, “blame Bush” is still a workable tactic?