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  • Mike Devx

    In the UnCivil War in the GOP between the elites and the rest of us, Peggy Noonan apparently went off on Governor Sarah Palin in her big, usual way.

    Here’s a great delicious response from a Palin supporter at AmericanThinker:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/peggy_noonan_sarah_palin_jealo.html

    We can bring the attacks, too, Ms. Peggy, Dear Snobbess!

    Now I’ve got to say, I’m not sure at all I’d vote for Mrs. Palin in a presidential primary, because she is light on experience. But, My God, there’s room in this country for conservatives who are doers and not thinkers, isn’t there? Why shouldn’t they be accorded respect for their solid conservative credentials and viewpoints? This unending attack on the rest of the country, really, by the GOP elites is alarming me no end and infuriating me. Yes, Ms. Noonan and your ilk, you’ve all done *such* a good job running conservatism in this country that we little people should just stay quiet, in our little corners where we belong, and let you keep doing your wonderful leadership, elite rulership thang.

    Given the state of our Democrat-lite GOP “elite” leadership, I have days like today where I just want to drive a stake through the corrupt, putrid, stinking heart of “The Upper GOP”, destroy that worthless party, and get on with building its replacement.

  • Mike Devx

    I wanted to put in a plug for a wonderful conservative fiction thriller I’ve begun reading. (I’m on page 70, just starting…)

    The book is “Without Warning”, by John Birmingham.

    I’ve hesitated on the purchase for months. The hesitation was due to the fact that *all* the thrillers I’ve read recently were written by hacks. The writing is so constantly poor and just plain damn clunky that the books have not been enjoyable. I get tired of poor writing and poor writers.

    But I went ahead finally and ordered it because there was significant-enough praise for the book. It examines: What would happen in the rest of the world if America suddenly “disappeared”? His plot device is an inexplicable – at this point on p. 70, unexplained – energy phenomenon with unknown source that devastates the North American continent. He launches into the scenario immediately! No slow hundred-page buildup, introducing characters and background and silly stuff so you “get to know them” slowly at first, before getting to the meat. You learn about these characters around the world, and at the fringes of the catastrophe, as they begin to deal with it. And they do appear to be worthwhile, fun characters!

    I knew by page 2 that this was a quality writer. He knows how to write a thriller and the prose is a smooth, enjoyable read. It’s a relief to see a GOOD writer writing thrillers! I’m not saying it’s high literature or anything. The only thriller writer I’ve ever read who produced actual literature as thrillers was Trevanian. Birmingham’s not that good, but he’s awfully good compared to the dreck that’s currently out there.

    His aims are clearly conservative. This is the first in a series of books examining the wild world without the governing civilized influence of American, and you can be sure the bad guys are gonna be really bad, and the good guys really good, and solidly conservative. I can tell it’s going to be just great.

  • BrianE

    In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant; Harry Truman wasn’t brilliant, and he helped save Western Europe from Stalin. He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever. White Houses are always full of quick-witted people with ready advice on how to flip a senator or implement a strategy. You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks.

    But you can’t buy courage and decency, you can’t rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. If he does, they will give meaning and animation to the great practical requirement of the presidency: He must know why he’s there and what he wants to do. He has to have thought it through. He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nontheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create. This is a function of thinking, of the mind, the brain.

    But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character–the courage and heart–to see it through….

    This was part of an essay written by Peggy Noonan honoring Ronald Reagan.
    Palin has certainly demonstrated courage and decency and a strong moral sense in her short time in public life.
    If Noonan were to offer advice instead of criticism, I suppose she would remind Palin of the decades Reagan spent “thinking it through”.
    Like the senior Bush, Palin needs to develop “that vision thing”. I would suggest Noonan and the Republican chattering class should take a deep breath and give Palin time to develop a “vision of the future she wishes to create” or even a chance to articulate it. Is a vision of energy independence sufficient to be remembered in the history books of the future as a defining moment? I think so.
    Reagan’s vision was largely wrapped up in the final death struggle with the evil empire. Does Noonan not realize that the struggle with alarmists, with eco-totalitarians is every bit as dangerous, is every bit as threatening as Russia posed only a few decades ago? Apparently not.
    If the eco-despots do grab control of our lives, the future promises to be as bleak as the average soviet saw life- empty stores, empty lives, empty dreams.
    Yes, I want to see Palin develop a well-rounded portfolio of ideas, but ideas are a dime a dozen– especially if the president doesn’t have the character– the courage and heart– to see those ideas through.

  • BrianE

    Listening to the Talking Heads this morning, it struck me how far to the left the center has been defined in this country. If Robert Bork represented the far right of judicial thought, doesn’t Sonia Sotomayor represent the epitome of judicial activism on the left?
    And yet, Republican senators are going to vote for her confirmation.
    Senator Sessions was so polite, so reasonable in his description of her. I know it’s hard, but we can still be polite and reasoned and firmly state why her judicial views will inevitably harm the country.
    We’re so skewed.

  • expat

    Brian E,

    That quote was a great find. Thanks. My problem with Obama was always about character. He has never supported anything that would cost him votes, and he seems never to have thought about any problem deeply enough to arrive at a committed belief (except in himself, of course). I agree with Mike that Palin lacks experience and may not be presidential material. Time will tell. But that does not mean her opinions and beliefs should be ridiculed. She at least understands how communities organize themselves from the bottom up–not in the carpet baggger style of BO.

    BTW, Liz Cheney has been looking very good recently. I’d love to see her in a foreign policy debate with BO. It is really wonderful to see women breaking the glass gags that have been imposed by women who claim to speak for me.

    Book,

    My great grandfather was honored by reenacter groups earlier this year. My brother attended and said it was very impressive. They do their homework and they bring many people to understand and appreciate our country’s history.

  • BrianE

    More from Noonan about Reagan, lest we cannonize him:

    We have all noticed in life that big people with big virtues not infrequently have big flaws, too. Reagan’s great flaw it seemed to me, and seems to me, was not one of character but personality. That was his famous detachment, which was painful for his children and disorienting for his staff. No one around him quite understood it, the deep and emotional engagement in public events and public affairs, and the slight and seemingly formal interest in the lives of those around him. James Baker III called him the kindest and most impersonal man he’d ever known, and there was some truth to that….

    He had a temper. He didn’t get mad lightly, but when he did it was real and hit like lightning….

    Reagan is always described as genial and easygoing, but Marty Anderson used to call him “warmly ruthless.” He would do in the nicest possible way what had to be done. He was as nice as he could be about it, but he knew where he was going, and if you were in the way you were gone. And you might argue his ruthlessness made everything possible.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/character/essays/reagan.html

    I certainly don’t know if Palin will ever be President. But the more the RINO’s attack her, the more they will drive conservatives toward her. It’s an American trait.

  • Oldflyer

    The thread sort of got lost.

    Book, I live in Virginia where the “War of Northern Agression” has not been forgotten. Enactments are a big attraction here as elsewhere in the south.

    It is interesting how devoted the reenactors are to historical accuracy and authenticity. Throughout the South there are groups who routinely portray Union units (complete with personally owned uniforms) to complete the scene. They don’t distort the historical record to make the right side win. It is interesting to wander through their campsites, as many people try to live as they would have back then–within reason.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-i-teach-history.html

    Read that, it’s a good precise about the important issue of war, especially that war.

    Btw, concerning Lincoln, he was like most people, including the abolitionists, in the North. They did not believe in black equality. They believed that blacks were human, and thus made by the Creator. But that doesn’t mean they believe they were equal after the creation, especially because they hadn’t demonstrated it. It is very hard for people who have grown up in the status quo to visualize a different scenario.

    On the Subjection of Women, one of the fundamental arguments against giving voting/property rights to women is that there had currently been no real modern example that women, on large not in the specifics, could handle such things. And the author argued that you cannot say that, if you have not given them the opportunity to demonstrate themselves capable.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Hi Bookworm, Actually, I was at a reenactment, too. At Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach, NC, I witnessed a canon fired, among other things before dipping my toes in the Mighty Atlantic.

  • Mike Devx

    Helen #10:
    I witnessed a canon fired, among other things before dipping my toes in the Mighty Atlantic.

    I’d love to see a canon being fired! It’d be right up there with Martin Luther nailing his “95 Theses” to the door of the Cathedral, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

    (I know, I know, he actually merely sent a letter, if the historical revision is to be trusted. But inadvertent typos are such fun!)

    Which canon shall we choose to see fired? And do we fire it from a cannon, arcing it high over those Mighty Waters of the Atlantic? What a sight it would make! Let’s choose, say, The Epistle Of Clement, and see what would happen.

    Or perhaps something less startling. Let’s shoot this one from 1983:
    “§3 A favour refused by a Vicar general or an episcopal Vicar and later, without any mention being made of this refusal, obtained from the diocesan Bishop, is invalid. A favour refused by the diocesan Bishop cannot, without the Bishop’s consent, validly be obtained from his Vicar general or episcopal Vicar, even though mention is made of the refusal.”

    In any case, glad you took the opportunity to dip your toes in the mighty Atlantic! The oceans of the world are vast and wondrous indeed!