Misc Commentary For December 19, 2006

— A 10 year aggravated child molestation charge for a 17-year old who had consensual oral sex from a 15 year old? I’m from the “lock them up and throw away the key” school when it comes to lawbreakers and even I think that’s an insanely harsh sentence. In fact, that 10 year term is such an egregious miscarriage of justice that I don’t think a pardon from the governor of Georgia would be out of line.

— I just finished a book by Dick Wirthlin called, “The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me About Politics, Leadership, and Life.” Wirthlin was a strategist and pollster for Reagan and he spent much of his time doing polling and explaining to Reagan what he could do to sell his ideas, pointing out potential sore spots with the American people, and noting things that the Gipper could do to improve his standing with the American people.

As I read the book (which was absolutely superb by the way), I began to wonder if anyone actually fills the same role in the Bush White House as Wirthlin did with Reagan. That’s because over the last two years, the Bush administration has seemed to be completely and utterly indifferent to the polls, what the base wants, and what the public thinks of Bush’s policies. In other words, when Clinton was in office, you often got the impression that he made most of his decisions based on polling data, but during Bush’s second term, he has often acted as if the political ramifications of his actions no longer concern him. There’s got to be a happy medium between those two positions and it would be great if Bush would try to reach it.

Bruce Bartlett is right about the Libertarian Party,

“My conclusion is that for libertarian ideas to advance, the Libertarian Party must go completely out of business. It must cease to exist, period. No more candidates, no more wasted votes and no more disillusioned libertarian activists.

In place of the party, there should arise a new libertarian interest group organized like the National Rifle Association or the various pro- and anti-abortion groups. This new group, whatever it is called, would hire lobbyists, run advertisements and make political contributions to candidates supporting libertarian ideas. It will work with both major parties. It can magnify its influence by creating temporary coalitions on particular issues and being willing to work with elected officials who may hold libertarian positions on only one or a handful of issues. They need not hold libertarian views on every single issue, as the Libertarian Party now demands of those it supports.”

— Over at the The Huffington Post, Greg Gutfeld comes up with the best idea ever!

IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM AND TOLERANCE, AND IN HARMONY WITH OUR GAY MUSLIM BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE PROUDLY ANNOUNCE THE FIRST MARCH TO MECCA, FEBRUARY 14, 2007

Human Rights Watch, Moveon.org, ACT-UP, the Huffington Post and David Geffen are proud to present the March to Mecca, a celebration of peace that calls all gay brothers, sisters and people undergoing sex-reassignment to march to the holiest of holy cities, Mecca, the capital city of Saudi Arabia’s Makkah province on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2007.

Now that would be really “speaking the truth to power!” If only this weren’t just satire…

— If Newt is serious about running for President, it seems to me that he’s making a mistake by refusing to campaign and waiting until September of 2007 to decide whether or not to run. Newt notes that,

“John F. Kennedy did not declare his candidacy until January 1960 and that Ronald Reagan entered the 1980 race in November 1979.”

But, things move a lot faster now than they did back then. There are bloggers, mags, and radio hosts who are starting to pick candidates now. There will have been multiple debates by September. There are people out there campaigning, building staffs, and getting money from donors today! Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that Kennedy and Reagan were a lot stronger candidates than Newt. If Newt were actually in the race today, he’d probably be in the four slot behind McCain, Rudy, and Mitt. Moreover, by September, if Newt were to get in, he’d be in a situation where the other contenders would probably have a 30-40 million dollar advantage over him, most of the top staffers locked up, and the endorsements of a lot of big name conservatives in the bag. So, if anything, he’d fall further behind if he waits.

This leads me to believe that Newt is really trying to increase his stature and build up his PAC, “American Solutions for Winning the Future,” rather than really thinking about campaigning for the presidency. Of course, if it looks wide open late next year, who knows what could happen, but for the moment, it isn’t looking like Newt is seriously contemplating a run.

— Oh boy, look at this garbage from U.S.News & World Report, which comes under the header of “Truth or Fiction? It’s Hard to Tell:”

“Here’s the scene: A conservative president, say President Bush, is getting ready to be replaced by a liberal, say Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, after a crisis like something worse than 9/11. The nation’s national security team is worried that the nation is going to pot. So much so that the heads of a 400-person “supermilitia” created to overthrow governments on behalf of Washington move in to dump Bush, stop Clinton’s ascension, and rebuild the nation. Crazy? No, it’s just the premise of America’s Last Days, a new political thriller out next month and already being looked at by Hollywood. Author Douglas MacKinnon, a former Pentagon, Reagan, and Bush aide, says it rings true.”

So, “Truth or Fiction? It’s Hard to Tell?” Really? The idea that some sort of super militia backed by the Pentagon could take over the United States? You remember that old Jeff Foxworthy routine, “You might be a redneck if….” Well, you might be a conspiracy kook if you think it’s plausible that the United States could be taken over in a coup. This isn’t some Third World craphole, it’s the United States, the world’s oldest surviving democracy. We don’t do coups in this country.

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