The Latest Tweets from Team NRO . . .
A Pox On Them All
Look: I understand that there are major differences between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton. One was a private citizen and movie star. The other was a career politician and government official who thought such careers should preclude one from living like a movie star. Also, Bill Clinton was accused of harrassing — and raping — women while a public servant. Schwarzenegger has been accused of nothing more than being a “playful” pig. Also, Schwarzenegger is running for Governor, not President and therefor btoth his judgement and his character are less important for various reasons.
Nevertheless, many Republicans and Democrats strike me as awful hypocrites on the Schwarzenegger “issue.” Republicans said that character matters about Bill Clinton. Democrats said that character doesn’t matter. Feminists even absolved groping of employees! (Remember Steinhem’s “one grope rule”) Surely, fondling a subordinate uninvited is worse than kneading a waitress.
Anyway, now Republicans say character doesn’t matter and, once again, Democrats are saying it does. Why can’t we stick to our scripts? I’m certainly sticking with McClintock.
“Payback’s a Bitch”
I can’t tell you how many liberal readers of my columns (NRO and syndicated) say this to me in emails when I complain about the left’s unprincipled behavior on any number of issues. They invoke what “happened” to Clinton or Florida or whatever. Regardless of whether or not those events were unjust or not, even if you think Bill Clinton was mistreated at every turn, simply saying “payback’s a bitch” as a justification for violating your own principles is astounding to me. And don’t get me wrong, I’m quite fond of vengeance and wrath, but in the realm of domestic public policy it’s the worst form of hypocrisy (in foreign policy payback is often vital). To say, for example, that the Independent Counsel law was horrible and a violation of the constitutional order under Bill Clinton but a worthwhile measure under Bush is a flip-flop to be sure. But to offer nothing more than “payback’s a bitch” as a justification is so thoroughly reprehensible and craven it astounds me that intelligent people can say it with a straight face.
Sorry, I just wanted to say that somewhere as I don’t have time to write it three dozen times to various readers.
There will never be a satisfactory answer to the question of which monster was the more appalling, Hitler or Stalin, and it’s a largely pointless line of enquiry anyway, but if you want to test the proposition that there is still a strange lack of outrage over Communism’s savage past, ask yourself this. If today’s ‘disclosures’ (true or otherwise) had revealed that, nearly thirty years ago, Schwarzenegger had admired aspects of Stalin’s career, rather than Hitler’s, would there have been quite so much of a furore?
And if not, why not?
Ramesh, there may be some things to dislike in that article, but there’s a lot to agree with too. This section comes to mind:
“Despite promises (or threats) in the new law [which is primarily concerned with gathering statistical data on the topic] to take prison officials or state governments to task for failure to stop rape and assault, the real cause probably lies in a more mundane and intractable reality: Inmates will attack inmates if enough of them live in sufficient proximity, with insufficient internal security, for long enough periods of time. That means that while Congress funds lots of studies, we already know that the key variables are really the sheer rates of incarceration in the United States, the density of prison housing, the number and quality of staff, and the abandonment of any meaningful attempts at rehabilitation. If it is honest, the new DOJ commission created by the law will suggest what we already know is necessary: that we lower incarceration rates, reduce the prisoner-to-space ratio, train huge numbers of new guards to protect prisoners, and abandon the purely retributive and incapacitative function of prisons. But there is no political will for such changes, which is perhaps why we fund studies of the obvious in the first place. The truth is that the United States has essentially accepted violence—and particularly brutal sexual violence—as an inevitable consequence of incarcerating criminals.”
Unfortunately, that is true – and that acceptance is, quite simply, barbaric.
Naacp Excludes Minorites
In Illinois, the GOP accuses the NAACP of closing off a Senate debate to an Indian-born cndidate and a black, both Republicans. Here’s the story.
Patience, Progress & Iraq
Bernard Kerick, at a press setup with the President just now, had a great line about his response to people who say it is taking too long in Iraq: Try setting up 30 police precincts in New York City. Depending on who is on the City Council, it might take eleven years. (That’s all from memory. I’ll update with it verbatim when I see the transcript.)
K-Lo, I urge Corner readers to check that Slate piece, because Allen Barra is a very respected sports stat-cruncher. His opinion on Donovan McNabb’s performance carries weight, even if the sports squabble goes on.
Also, Brent Bozell weighed in yesterday with some quotes that show how liberal sports writers cheer black athletes, such as:
Last January 8, New York Times columnist Selena Roberts did precisely that: “Didn’t Michael Vick decode the Falcons’ system ahead of the normal curve? Didn’t Donovan McNabb prove he would decipher defenses from the Eagles’ pocket after he broke a spoke on his ankle? Hasn’t Steve McNair managed to outsmart defenders despite missing Titans practices because of pain? As the playoffs have revealed, there’s progress, but so little change. There are proven black quarterbacks and coaches, but race relations are running a reverse in the NFL.”
Awful Morning, The Sequel
The morning shows are doing both Arnold a Nazi? and Rush a Druggie? today. The only solace is that it totally blows away the notion that the media turned down Clinton scandals for years at a time because it was so journalistically careful…
L.a. Times Vs. Arnold
For every email in my inbox that expressed disappointment in Der Arnold for his boorish behavior toward women, I’ve received half a dozen that expressed outrage at the L.A. Times for holding its Arnold-is-a-groper story until yesterday morning, less than a week before the recall vote. The editors of the Times certainly have some explaining to do.
For what it’s worth, I myself doubt that the Times story was part of an orchestrated smear. To quote Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee (and you’ll find his invaluable website here):
The story is long, detailed and explosive. It was almost certainly edited at multiple levels and vetted by the Times’ attorneys. Knowing the kind of bureaucracy that can be at work at a major newspaper, I suspect that the piece only now has cleared all those hurdles. [And]…I think Schwarzenegger is helped as much as he is hurt by the timing. The campaign has prepared the world for the possibility of late charges of a personal nature….
Jolt For Justice
The “human rights” lobby at Amnesty International is protesting an electric stun belt on John Muhammad, who is very strongly suspected of having terrorized the entire DC area for three weeks in addition to masterminding the murder of 13 innocents.
Has Amnesty International ever thought of protesting the human rights violations of Muhammad?
Raymond Arroyo’s upcoming book on Mother Angelica will be the hit of next Christmas. She fits into a panoply of categories: religion, women, business, inspiration. And Arroyo is a great storyteller. Watch for it.
The New Cardinals & The Next Pope
Raymond Arroyo takes a look at the newly appointed cardinal-designates and looks toward the future:
The journalistic art of ranking candidates strikes me as a foolish exercise. What I can offer is an image of the next pope. He may be non-Italian, possibly from South America or Africa. He will be expected to travel, and he will very likely be an older man. The cardinals I’ve spoken with don’t seem to relish the idea of another young pope ruling the church for decades. Still, nobody really knows.
Catholic teaching maintains that the Holy Spirit (through the conclave) selects the next pope. Since the spirit has undoubtedly made the selection already, why not leave the outcome to him.
K Lo: The Washington Post picks up this morning where you left off last night, with a story headlined “Graham Reviewing Strategy.” Apparently the strategy of raising almost no money and attracting little support hasn’t worked. When Graham got in the race earlier this year, a lot of people wondered if he was really campaigning for veep. Given the near-total lack of interest in his candidacy, he’s probably weakened his chances even for that.
Al Jazeera, “Easily Cowed by U.S. Pressure”
This actually sounds a little silly. Al Jazeera pulls two “inflammatory” cartoons off their websites after “Washington” pressure. Sounds like someone in Washington could have time to kill and misplaced priorities.
I was not using “hearsay” in a court of law but in this happy Corner, Randy, and hence in the sense appropriate to everyday conversation, which, my handy American Heritage dictionary informs me, is “gossip, talk, talk of the town, tittle-tattle, chat.”
This morning, in short, the L.A. Times made what had merely been vague tittle-tattle into charges that were concrete and specific–and Der Arnold then admitted that “there’s no smoke without fire.” To repeat, what had been hearsay became established fact.