Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Aftermath

Well, as I'm sure you know by now, the Dems have swept it all, taking the House and Senate. It's a great day. It's a shame that one of the new Senators won't be Harold Ford Jr, though. I was really pulling for him. Another day. Another day...Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker, and Harry Reid will most likely be Majority Leader. Joe Lieberman has left poser Ned Lamont in the dust, and he'll caucus with the Dems (because he's a man of his word). The center is rising, folks. Oh, and Rummy is out. Robert Gates has replaced him. He's an old guard guy from the Bush I days. Wait and see. As far as Iraq goes, any ideas that don't involve pulling out early, partitioning the country, or keeping the status quo ought to be on the table.    

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today's The Day. Get Out and Vote.

Nuff said.

UPDATE: My predictions: Dems take House by 15-20 seats, and Dems take Senate by 2 seats. If the GOP does win the Senate, it's 50-50. There you go.

Monday, November 06, 2006

OK, We're Here

I had this big post planned for the elections tomorrow, but honestly, I'm worn out. The fact is, I think the Democrats should win control of at least one of the Houses of Congress, and ideally, both. The question some may ask is, why? How can a pro-war Democrat, who believes in a victory in Iraq, go for the Democrats? This question is harder to answer than it should be, but it's not that hard. I've said this before, but I'll say it once more: I don't believe that putting the Democrats back in power will lead to defeat. I really don't. I know some will point to this, but I really don't think the Democrats are that crazy. I believe that there are enough Dems and moderates to hold the line, so to speak. It's a gamble, but I'm willing to take it.

So, what will they do? For one thing, they'll hold the Administration accountable. The fact is, we need serious policy changes, on the domestic and foreign policy side. I want to win in Iraq, but the "stay the course" plan isn't enough. We need a change in tactics (that of course desn't involve retreat), in order to bring things under control. At the very least, we'll have an opposition Congress, that will force the President to adjust. This isn't just about Iraq. The larger GWOT is involved as well. Detainee treatment, wiretapping, oversight, port security, etc. These things are important. Besides national security, there certain issues that are no-brainers. The GOP-controlled house will never pass a comprehensive immigration bill. The Dems might actually pass a minimum wage bill. Let's not forget spending, and the six-plus years of arrogant leadership. I'll admit, some of these issues are partisan ones, but there you are.

I'm not voting a straight-ticket though. I'm a Marylander, so I'm backing Robert Ehrlich for Governor, and I'm leaning towards Steele for the Senate. I realize that could kill the Dems chances for the Senate, but Cardin's focused far too much on pulling out of Iraq, and I like Michael Steele. He seems like a straight shooter. I'm a bit conflicted.

So, at end the of the day, I'm voting for change, hoping that that change doesn't lead to a defeat. I'm reasonably optimistic. Of course, thay actually have to win the thing first. Nothing's decided, yet.

Either way, get out and vote. Whatever happens, really, the country will survive.

Groupthink and Authentic Intellectuals

I had to link to another great and probing essay by Orson Scott Card, on how groupthink has made somewhat of a havoc of the sciences, particularly with regards to Physics and string theory. He also goes on about how this has affected other disciplines (namely the "Studies" departments, and even the English Departments), and how groupthink affects the culture at large. I really cannot decide what to excerpt, because it is all so good.

I do have to protest a bit though, as I think he was being a bit too hard on the English Departments. Don't get me wrong, I am well aware of the wholesale damage done by thirty years of rampant deconstructionism, postmodernism, Orientalism, multiculturalism, and the like, but the lit theory and comp. lit courses I took were solid. Most of my professors were great, and actually taught me things. None of them seems to be disciples of Theoretics. Exception to the rule, perhaps? Nevertheless, this trend is real, and it is dangerous.

It can be thwarted as well, as he points out.

One Day Away...

I'm planning my election piece for later today (Tuesday morning at the latest), but I wanted to preview with a few thoughts. First off, while this on my mind, I want to be clear that I take no joy in the Ted Haggard situation, nor should anyone. As a Christian, I pray that he will go before the Lord in repentance, and heal the wounds with himself, his wife, and his church. I think this post by David Kuo says a lot. This is beyond politics.

As we all know, arch-murderer Saddam will finally face ultimate justiice for his crimes. For some reason some on the Left keep insisting that the trial was phony, and a U.S. led stunt. I don't really know how to respond, except by pointing out that the trial was legitimate and necessary, and the fact that he will pay is a victory for the Iraqi people. Some are wondering if this will affect the elections, or whether it was timed to do so. Maliki says no, and Bush says no. I believe them, and find the idea a bit silly.

Also, as I prepare my case as to why the Dems need to retake Congress, allow me to present an uncomfortably compelling counter-argument, by Orson Scott Card (h/t: InstaPundit). I don't agree with his overall conclusion, which is basically that a Democratic victory will lead to a defeat in the terror war (if I did, I could not, in good conscience vote for them), but his argument is compelling. He presents a solid case for Iraq, and while he travels far too much into Bush Worship Land, his argument is still worthy of consideration. It's the kind of piece that disturbs your sleep. He's wrong on his view, but he makes a serious argument.

More to come later...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Sentenced To Death

The Butcher of Baghdad has been sentenced to hang, for crimes against humanity. This goes without saying, but this is a good thing. The monster who murdered millions of his own people, invaded the sovereign nation of Kuwait, and committed wholesale crimes against the free world will finally face ultimate justice.

It is as simple as that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My Last Word on the Kerry Kerfuffle

I'm really hpoing this story will begin to die off now. I see no reason why this should affect the elections, being that it has no bearing on policy. The GOP sure loves a pile on, don't they? As I've said before, I'm convinced now that Kerry didn't mean to offend the troops with his bad joke. He was right to apologize, as he did offend, despite that fact that he didn't intend to. Many of the troops did take offense. He should have apologized in the beginning, as opposed to waiting a day, and ranting like he did. The GOP got a chance to play the phony outrage game they're so good at, and capitalize on the blunder. I still don't think it will hurt that much, but it could still be costly. Kerry will disappear until after the elections, and that is good. And now, for real this time, I am done with this.

My big election piece is coming Monday.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'm Not Even Sure What to Make of This..

It seems that Pastor Ted Haggard might have some explaining to do. As with all matters like this, I'm not making any judgments until the facts are out. This could get real ugly, real quick, however this plays out:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, resigned Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man in monthly trysts over the past three years.

The Rev. Ted Haggard, a married father of five who has been called one of the most influential evangelical Christians in the nation, denied the allegations. His accuser refused to share with The Associated Press voice mails that he said backed up his claim.

Haggard also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations."

His accuser, is a Colorado man named Mike Jones, who felt the need to come forward after what he saw as hypocrisy:

Mike Jones, 49, of Denver told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

"It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones, whose allegations were first aired on KHOW-AM radio in Denver, claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

As I've said, I'm not jumping to conclusions. This does appear to another politically-motivated "outing," although the charges could be true. Who knows. We'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry Apologizes.

Sen. Kerry has finally bowed to his better judgment (and a heaping dose of pressure) and apologized for his comments:

"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform and I personally apologize to any service member, family member or American who was offended," Kerry said in a statement.

This is good news. I'm not naive enough to think this will end things, but at least he's done the right thing, and things can't get any worse. Personally, I still don't think that Kerry intended to slam the troops (heck, even Tony Snow admitted this on O'Reilly earlier), but the fact is that he did, and he was right to apologize. There have been questions as to whether Kerry is anti-military in general. I don't believe so, although there are many who hold this view, especially those who believe he sold out the troops in those hearings thirty years ago. I do think it's clear that Kerry has a personal animosity towards Bush though, and past comments confirm this. The fact is that he doesn't like him. This helps explain Kerry's motivations.

Either way, I'm done with this. Done like Kerry's 2008 Presidential chances.

No Cross on the Chapel?

Just finished reading an interesting post over at Civil Commotion, over the decision to remove the Cross from the 300-year old Wren Chapel, at the College of William and Mary. I am Christian, but don't think you have to be a Christian to find this problematic at the very least. The charter itself establishes the school's history as a school with Christian traditions, and it's not really a violation of church-state separation to keep those traditions. The main argument in support of this change is the fact that this school has become non-denominational, and receives public support:

“In order to make the Wren Chapel less of a faith-specific space, and to make it more welcoming to students, faculty, staff and visitors of all faiths, the cross has been removed from the altar area,” Engimann said.

The cross will be returned to the altar for those who wish to use it for events, services or private prayer. Student tour guides have been directed to pass any questions or complaints about the change on to administrators.

Interesting argument, but wrong. The thing is, if the cross has to be removed except for private sectarian gatherings, what principle allows the cross to remain at all, since the school is non-denominational? Is it non-denominational only some of the time? The logic doesn't hold. The fact is, the cross represents the tradition of the school, much like the name of the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. This ruling by the college seems wrongheaded, and a betrayal of its traditions. Besides, couldn't you leave the cross up, and allow other faiths to use their respective religious items for their sectarian events? Again, this is a wrong-headed ruling.

Don't get me wrong, Bob Felton runs an interesting blog, yet I must say his anti-religious hostility is problematic for obvious reasons.

More on the Kerry Kerfuffle

I posted yesterday about the hot-water John Kerry got himself into the other day about his ill-advised comments. Personally, and it a bit of time to realize this, but I really don't think Kerry meant to insult the troops. It was, in typical Kerry fashion, a stupid move; a bad attempt at making a bad joke. Brendan Loy, who is no Kerry fan, agrees:

I believe Kerry’s explanation. I believe him not because he’s inherently trustworthy; certainly he’s not. But I believe him because it is by far the most objectively plausible explanation for his remarks.

That makes sense, because Kerry has proven before that he has a penchant for poorly executed criticisms of Bush and the GOP, which only manage to backfire politically, especially when he tries to explain them, when a simple "my bad" will do. I've defended him in the past, from the vicious, low-class, and underhanded attacks laid on him by many of his enemies. I tried to explain away the nuances, dodges, and prevarications. A lot of the criticisms of Kerry were over the top, but the fact is, even then, he was unsteady and wobbly. Based on his regrettable support for withdraw..I mean redeployment, I can say that I'm glad he's not President, not that I'm fond of Bush. Honestly, I voted for him based on the situation at the time. Loy continues:

Alas, while the Republican response has been predictably demagogic (Bush called Kerry’s comments “insulting and shameful“), Kerry has done himself no favors with his own response, in which he painted himself as a victim of “right wing nut-jobs” — rather than as a vicitm of his own poorly chosen words — and busted out the tired, irrelevant, logically fallacious “chickenhawk” meme. Instead of going into high dudgeon and defiantly declaring that “I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy,” Kerry should have humbly apologized for choosing his words poorly in a way that caused some people to reasonably but falsely believe he was insulting the troops, and left it at that.

Now the conservative blogosphere is on fire, liberals are wringing their hands, the Republicans think they’ve been handed a gift that can turn the tide next Tuesday, and at least one Democratic congressman is understandably livid: “I guess Kerry wasn’t content blowing 2004, now he wants to blow 2006, too.”

There's not much else I can add. Kerry's 2008 election chances weren't really viable after his defeat in 2004, but they are dead now, not so much based on this incident, for this is really a symptom of the larger problem with Kerry's political character. Kerry's a war hero, and there's no doubting that. He was a hero in Vietnam. The problem is, he seems to be stuck there, and has no clue how to fight the current battle. Also, he's a humorless, emotional black hole. I'll stop there, because it's starting to become a pile on, and nobody likes a pile on.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse disagrees with Kerry's explanation, and thinks he's lying. I still don't think he meant to slam the troops, but as I've said, should apologize for the implication. You know what? I'm worn out with this already. Can someone just tell Kerry to disappear for the next seven days?