Category Archives: Political Commentary

In Defense Of My Home Town

I’m getting a little tired of having my home town of Flint, Michigan being continually slandered and libeled by the Australian oppressor and others, including Michael Moore. He is not from Flint. That benighted town has lots of problems, some even of its own making, but spawning the likes of Michael Moore is not one of them.

According to one of his many contradictory stories, he himself claims that he was raised in rural Lapeer county, and according to one of his fan websites, he was actually born in Davison (now a suburb just east of the growing city, but at that time a small town outside of it). Of course, I didn’t have to look it up on the Internet. Being there at the time, I knew that.

In 1954, Michael Moore was born in Davison, Michigan, a suburb of Flint, to an Irish Catholic family of laborers.

Well, now we know that being a laborer is not genetic.

At 14, Moore, impressed by the Berrigans, joined a diocesan seminary. But a year later, he was asked to leave.

What a shocker.

Moore cited girls as the main proponent.

And the girls no doubt cited him as the main repellent.

He was forced to return to Davison High School, where he became a star of the school debate team, a student-government organizer and even authored a school play.

Note: Davison High School. Not a Flint high school.

In 1970, Moore received the Eagle Scout award. His Eagle Scout project was a slide show exposing the worst polluters in Flint.

Was he part of the show? Based on first-hand reports of his personal hygiene habits, inquiring minds want to know.

And we have good reason to be suspicious. After all, he is famous for creating exposes of things for which he himself could be a poster child (e.g., “Stupid White Men”).

Though, I suppose he’d be exempt in this particular case, being a resident of Davison.

After high school, Moore worked several jobs, including one at Buick, which he quit on his first day.

How does one “work” a job that one quits on the first day? This is a logical miracle achievable, apparently in some immaculate way, only by someone who is the offspring of “laborers.”

In 1972, spurned [sic] on by Donald Priehs, his former government teacher, Moore decided to run for the school board and won; at 18, Moore became the youngest member to sit on the Flint City Council. Shortly after, Moore lobbied to get Priehs fired.

Isn’t he a gem?

Moore caused so much trouble for the town that a recall drive was attempted. Moore dropped out of the University of Michigan, Flint because he was too busy suing his town in court.

And the University rejoiced.

Shortly thereafter, he headed out to infest San Francisco, and tormented my poor city no more until he came back in the late ’80s to stalk Roger Smith.

And, as someone who was born within the city limits (the year after Mr. Moore) and a resident through my third year of college, I can assure all that Flint is nothing like Manhattan, a fact that I regretted throughout my childhood…

Fear Of Republicans

Instantman, in reference to an article about women and the sexual revolution, says:

This kind of stuff, by the way, is the reason why a lot of Democrats who are basically in agreement with the Republican party are still afraid to vote for Republicans.

This seems to be a common attitude among many libertarians (and to the degree that labels apply, I think that one fits Glenn about as well as any), particularly the ones who approached that philosophy from the left (i.e., former Democrats). I once had an extended email discussion (back during the election) with another libertarian friend (who’s also a blogger, but shall remain nameless) about how as much as he disliked the socialism of the Democrats, he felt more culturally comfortable with them. Again, this is a prevalent attitude of products of the sixties. You know, Republicans were uptight fascists, and Democrats were idealistic, free-living, and hip.

While I’m not a conservative, my own sexual and drug-taking values (and life style) tend to be. I just don’t think that the government should be involved in either of these areas. But my voting pattern is that I’ll occasionally vote Republican (I voted for Dole over Clinton, the only time I’ve ever voted for a Republican for President), but I never vote for a Democrat for any office. The last time I did so was in 1976, and I’d like that one back.

There are at least two reasons for this.

First, I’ve found many Republicans who are sympathetic to libertarian arguments, and in fact are often libertarians at heart, but see the Republican Party as the most practical means of achieving the goals. There may be some Democrats out there like that, but I’ve never run into them. That’s the least important reason (partly because I may be mistaken, and have simply suffered from a limited sample space). But fundamentally, the Democratic Party, at least in its current form, seems to me to be utterly antithetical to free markets.

But the most important reason is this–while I find the anti-freedom strains of both parties equally dismaying, the Democrats are a lot better at implementing their government intrusions, and there’s good reason to think that this will be the case even if the Republicans get full control of the government.

This is because many of the Democratic Party positions are superficially appealing, if you’re ignorant of economics and have never been taught critical thinking.

Who can be against a “living wage”? What’s so bad about making sure that everyone, of every skin hue, gets a fair chance at a job? Why shouldn’t rich people pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes?–they can afford it. Are you opposed to clean air and water? What’s wrong with you? How can you be against social security–do you want old folks to live on Kibbles and Bits?

To fight these kinds of encroachments on liberty requires a lot of effort and argument and, in the end, it often loses anyway. Consider for example, the latest assault on the First Amendment that passed the Senate today, sixty to forty. Many Republicans voted against it. I don’t think any Democrats did.

[Thursday morning update: Best of the Web notes that two Democrats did vote against it–John Breaux and Ben Nelson. Good for them. They also have a hall of shame for the Republicans who voted for it.]

On the other hand, the things that libertarians like Glenn and Nameless fear that conservatives will do (e.g., in matters sexual), are so repugnant to most Americans that they’ll never get made into law, and if they do, the legislators who do so will quickly get turned out of office. So, you have to ask yourself, even if you dislike the attitude of people who are uncomfortable with the sexual revolution, just what is it, realistically, that you think they’d actually do about it if you voted for them?

The bottom line for me is that Democrats have been slow-boiling the frog for decades now, and they’re very good at it. I tend to favor Republicans, not because I necessarily agree with their views on morality, but because I see them as the only force that can turn down the heat on the kettle, and that they’re very unlikely to get some of the more extreme policies that they may want, because the public, by and large, views them as extreme.

The American “Red” Cross

Dennis Prager is on fire about the Red Cross banning songs with the words “God” or “prayer” from their event in Orange County. His take is that they didn’t really apologize–they just regretted that anyone found their decision offensive. It’s not quite that bad. If you read their press release, they do admit that they made a “mistake in judgment,” but the general tone is as Dennis said. They stand by whatever “principles” resulted in that judgment.

This is political correctness run utterly amok, and it seems to have appropriately ignited a firestorm when carried out by an organization called the American Red Cross.

As Dennis says, by their warped criteria, they can’t say “American” and they can’t say “Cross” because these terms are deemed potentially offensive.

That only leaves “Red.”

The American “Red” Cross

Dennis Prager is on fire about the Red Cross banning songs with the words “God” or “prayer” from their event in Orange County. His take is that they didn’t really apologize–they just regretted that anyone found their decision offensive. It’s not quite that bad. If you read their press release, they do admit that they made a “mistake in judgment,” but the general tone is as Dennis said. They stand by whatever “principles” resulted in that judgment.

This is political correctness run utterly amok, and it seems to have appropriately ignited a firestorm when carried out by an organization called the American Red Cross.

As Dennis says, by their warped criteria, they can’t say “American” and they can’t say “Cross” because these terms are deemed potentially offensive.

That only leaves “Red.”

The American “Red” Cross

Dennis Prager is on fire about the Red Cross banning songs with the words “God” or “prayer” from their event in Orange County. His take is that they didn’t really apologize–they just regretted that anyone found their decision offensive. It’s not quite that bad. If you read their press release, they do admit that they made a “mistake in judgment,” but the general tone is as Dennis said. They stand by whatever “principles” resulted in that judgment.

This is political correctness run utterly amok, and it seems to have appropriately ignited a firestorm when carried out by an organization called the American Red Cross.

As Dennis says, by their warped criteria, they can’t say “American” and they can’t say “Cross” because these terms are deemed potentially offensive.

That only leaves “Red.”

More Good News For Bill Simon

The budget crisis in Sacramento may affect California’s bond ratings with S&P. This bombshell will hit this summer, when people are starting to pay attention to the race.

While Davis is indeed a vicious campaigner, I don’t think that anything that he can do at this point can reverse his negatives in peoples’ minds. The Republicans could probably run Goofy against him and win in November. Simon is still ahead in the latest Field Poll (though it’s within the margin of error).

But when an incumbent can only get 40% support for reelection right after the primary, he’s in deep, deep kimchi.

But Has He Seen Me Lately?

I want to thank Glenn for pointing out that my knuckles don’t drag (and Richard Bennett, for implying that they do–as long as he spells the URL right…). Well, maybe on the keyboard…

Anyway, higher praise than that no man can ask.

And actually, I was pointing to Free Republic primarily for entertainment value (which it always provides, on several levels)–not to buttress my own arguments.

And Richard, really…

Astute politicians know how to navigate these new political waters, as Riordan did in LA…

It is to laugh. “Astute politicians” don’t spit in the face of the core constituency of their party, as Riordan did. McCain made the same mistake. They also don’t willfully give copious campaign donations, and aid and comfort, to the opposite party. I mean, come on, he gave donations to Maxine Waters. And you call that an astute Republican politician?

It’s possible to run as a moderate without demonizing your own base, but Dick Riordan sure didn’t know how to do it.

Suicidal California Elephants?

I don’t think so.

Ken Layne’s latest Fox News column is up. He (an admitted Democrat-turned-temporary-Republican) bemoans the fact that California Republicans seem suicidal because they won’t nominate a Democrat (Riordan) to run against Grayout Davis.

Well, he’s right that California Republicans like to lose, but it’s not because they nominate conservative candidates. It’s because they take occasionally idiotic policy positions (like Prop 187), or nominate candidates who are even more colorless than Gray (e.g., Matt Fong, Pete Wilson).

If running as a liberal/moderate was such a great idea, why did Mike Huffington lose, Ken? Bruce Herschenson was the last interesting candidate that they ran in my memory, and he came close to beating Barbara Boxer. He primarily lost because it was “the year of the (Democratic) woman,” and some last-minute dirty tricks.

Anyway, sorry, Ken, win or lose in November (I actually think he’s got a good shot, given the quality of the opposition, the lingering memories of the energy fiasco, and the changed mood of the country) Bill Simon is almost certainly going to be the Republican nominee. And it’s not because Republicans like to lose. It’s because they like to run Republicans–particularly Republicans who don’t go out of their way to sneer at the base.

[Update at 11:13 AM PST]

Joseph Britt agrees with Ken, and disagrees with me.

California conservatives are much happier complaining about liberals than actually exercising power themselves.

You don’t exercise power as a conservative by electing a Richard Riordan. To a conservative (a category in which I don’t place myself, by the way), Riordan is actually to the left of Davis on many issues. They just don’t see the point.

The GOP primary wouldn’t even have been close if they’d thrown their weight behind Bill Jones, but he wasn’t pure enough or rich enough.

Blame the White House for that. Riordan is their creation. Now they’re desperately making overtures to Simon, since they can read the handwriting. Simon will be a much stronger candidate than Jones, partly for the same reason he’s trouncing Jones–he can bring his own money to the table.

With Rudy’s endorsement, and Bush coming out here to campaign for him, and the upcoming budget battles in Sacramento, in which Davis will be blamed for the lack of funds due to his idiotic energy deals, I think that almost anyone will be able to knock him off this fall.

[Another update at 11:30 AM PST]]

The folks over at Free Republic are masticating Ken’s column and spitting it out. Many are making the same points that I do (though in a less genteel way). But then, I like Ken…

[Yet another update, at 11:46 AM PST]

Hugh Hewitt weighs in as well (on the race–not on Ken’s column)–he’s for Simon as well, and says why:

I decided on Simon after interviewing all three GOP candidates on my radio program last week. He’s upbeat, energized, ready to answer baseless attacks, and he doesn’t condescend to the voter. After the attacks on America, Simon is an almost ideal candidate to deliver the big three: honor, candor, and purpose. Simon will not only run strong in California, he’s a perfect new face for the GOP nationally as well.

The central issue in California in 2002 is the almost breathtaking incompetence of Gray Davis, a career political hack who found himself in the biggest job in the state and froze. On issue after issue Davis has fumbled the ball and called it a touchdown. He believes he can spin himself out of his disastrous handling of the state power shortage and his mismanagement of the state’s budget. “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” is not a question for voters, it’s a laugh line. As the Simon campaign reminds people, Davis’ slogan four years ago was “Experience money can’t buy.” Now we know why –there’d be no takers, period.

So Davis will attack, and attack, and attack. Here is where the real Reagan parallel comes in. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter was surrounded by the ruins of his first term in office and confronting an upbeat optimist from the West Coast in Reagan. So Carter attacked, again and again, and tried to persuade America that Reagan was a reckless ideologue. But 1980 was one of those years in which the American voter was unwilling to be spun. Americans were held hostage, and a war had broken out in Afghanistan. It was time for a change, and a big one. Reagan won in a walk.

Sound familiar? If Bill Simon stays upbeat and on message, if he focuses on California’s tottering economy and collapsed schools, and if he conveys the same wide-open embrace of all hard-working Americans, the worst governor in California’s history will also be the first one in a century to lose his first campaign for re-election.

[Yet another update, at 1 PM PST]

Richard Bennett comments:

California’s not the same state it was in the Reagan Era, it’s not even the same state is was the Pete Wilson Era — a lot of the Mexicans that Wilson went loopy over have registered to vote, and they take great pleasure in voting. It’s not the same state it was in 1994 when Reeps won a majority in the Assembly, either. But it’s still a state where most Republican voters believe that the Governor’s job has something to do with Roe v. Wade or the Second Amendment.

Well, it’s not just Republican voters who seem to believe that. And they aren’t asking for a governor to do anything with the Second Amendment–they just want one who will recognize its existence, and support things like e.g., concealed carry, and oppose things like state “assault weapon” bans.

In a democracy, we get the government we deserve; since Reeps nominated Dan Lungren last time, that means we get Gray. In a Simon- Davis matchup, as soon as the Dems learn that Simon has never held office and is ardently anti-abortion, we’re gonna deserve four more years of Gray as our penalty for being stupid.

If being anti-abortion is a problem, then it must mean that Democrat and independent voters also believe that a governor has something to do with Roe v Wade. I think that he can get around this problem, if he has competent campaign managers.