Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mark Steyn on the candidates


President McCain? Or Queen Hillary? Henry Kissinger said about the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s that it's a shame they both can't lose. Conservatives have a slightly different problem: it's a shame that neither of them will lose; that, regardless of who takes the oath come next January, the harmonious McCain-Clinton consensus policies on illegal immigration and big government solutions to global warming will prevail. Where's Neither-of-the-Above when you need him?

Democracies get the political leaders they deserve, and that's particularly true in the US, where the primary system allows rank-and-file citizens to choose not merely which party to vote for (as in Britain, Australia and Europe) but also which individuals will be the candidates of those parties. True, it helps to be wealthy. Up to a point.

But it wasn't enough for John Edwards, the curiously unconvincing "angry populist" muttering darkly that "they" would never stop him telling the truth about nine-year-old girls shivering without a winter coat because daddy had been laid off at the mill. "They" didn't need to stop him. The champion of America's mythical coatless girl laid himself off last week. High on a hill, the lonely coatherd suddenly realised he was yodelling to himself....

Michael Ledeen, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, suggests that the rise of McCain through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida indicates that for many voters the war is still the issue, because, after all, what else has the senator got going for him? Surely it's not his global-warming hysteria or illegal-immigration amnesty or demonisation of capitalism. It's because he's Mr Surge.

Well, maybe. The senator is an eloquent defender of the US armed forces. A president McCain will not permit a military defeat in Iraq. But it's not clear to me he has much of a strategic vision for the ideological struggle, for the real long-term battlefield in the mosques and madrassas of Pakistan and Indonesia and western Europe. McCain's lead is no evidence of popular commitment to the long war and, absent any surprising developments, this will not be a war election.

The Clintons are nothing if not lucky, and Hillary must occasionally be enjoying a luxury-length cackle at the thought of being pitted against a 71-year-old "maverick" whose record seems designed to antagonise just enough of the base into staying home on election day.

More here



There is a fairly convincing refutation here of Jack Wheeler's allegations about McCain in Vietnam. I said when I noted Wheeler's story that it could be old Soviet disinformation and that now seems the most probable origin of the story.

A backhanded endorsement? "California first lady Maria Shriver said she arose Sunday feeling inspired by an Eleanor Roosevelt quote: "Do something every day that scares you." "Eleanor Roosevelt," Shriver said, "This is my one thing for today." With that, Shriver, who wasn't even on the program, made a surprise appearance at the close of a raucous UCLA rally for Barack Obama and endorsed the Illinois senator for president in Tuesday's presidential primary."

Fraudulent Franklin Foer recommends McCain: "I think that McCain has certain political virtues that other Republicans don't, which is that he actually has kind of a record of being, of being conciliatory - that there's actually - I mean, I don't what it means for the electoral future of the Democratic Party, but there are the possibilities for doing some interesting things with McCain as a leader, and I'm mostly thinking about global warming - where McCain has the best track record on energy and environment on the Republican side in the Senate," Foer concluded. "So, I think you have some really good possibility for a Nixon-to-China type solution to climate change if he decides that that's going to be the thing he is going to use to build a bridge."

McCain would be good for SCOTUS: "We believe that the nomination of John McCain is the best option to preserve the ongoing restoration of constitutional government. He is by far the most electable Republican candidate remaining in the race, and based on his record is as likely to appoint judges committed to constitutionalism as Mitt Romney, a candidate for whom we also have great respect.... On Jan. 20, 2009, six of the nine Supreme Court justices will be over 70. Most of them could be replaced by the next president, particularly if he or she is re-elected. Given the prospect of accelerating gains in modern medical technology, some of the new justices may serve for half a century. Even if a more perfect candidate were somehow elected in 2012, he would not be able to undo the damage, especially to the Supreme Court... In fact, there is no reason to believe that Mr. McCain will not make excellent appointments to the court. On judicial nominations, he has voted soundly in the past from Robert Bork in 1987 to Samuel Alito in 2006. His pro-life record also provides a surety that he will not appoint judicial activists."

Iraqis supporting Americans now, not Jihadis: "The dramatic decline in US casualties in Iraq has been one the great untold story of recent months. With thirty-nine lost in January, twenty-three in December, thirty-seven in November and thirty-eight in November, a young American male would have been safer in Iraq than in some of America's inner cities... This may come as a shock to some, but our low casualty rate clearly shows that the Iraqi people have taken the side of America and that on a mass scale. The perception that the Iraqis detest our soldiers as oppressive occupiers has been falsely created by American liberals and their collaborators in the Democrat Party and the mainstream media. It was them who fabricated the notion that our military is a cesspool of wanton torturers, lust-filled rapists and unscrupulous thugs preying on the people of Iraq. Because American liberals loathe our military, they want to make every one else loathe it as well. Eager to drum up hatred, they have been spreading their slander either by direct accusation or by insinuation. Liberals have shown their true nature by choosing the side of evil in the great struggle of our time."

U.N. can't kick the antisemitic habit: "Last week the U.N. Human Rights Council held an emergency session, organized by Arab and Muslim nations, to condemn Israel for its military actions in the Gaza strip. That the council is capable of swift and decisive action is a welcome surprise; that Israel remains the only nation to provoke such action is not. In the 17 months since its inception, the body has passed 13 condemnations, 12 of them against Israel. The council replaced what was widely viewed as a cancer on the United Nations -- an ineffectual "Commission on Human Rights" that also had a single-minded focus on Israel. According to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "the selectivity and politicizing of its activities [were] in danger of bringing the entire U.N. system into disrepute." The removal of the diseased commission two years ago was heralded by U.N. officials as "the dawn of a new era." Its replacement was designed to have stricter standards for membership, and rules to prevent politicized voting. But such safeguards were neutered by the time the new Human Rights Council was approved, and the results are that the council is no better than its predecessor."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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