Political violence: from whence does it emanate

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” – President Barack Hussein Obama

I posted this as a comment to Book’s previous post, but have now posted it independently as a challenge to all of us Bookworm salon aficionados.

Here’s the premise: virtually all the political violence that has happened in America as come from people associated with the Democrat and/or the Left.

Here’s my list thus far (continuous updating):

DEMOCRAT /LEFT – LINKED VIOLENCE

  1. Mass. Sen. Charles Sumner beaten by S. Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks over perceived insults made in speech by Brooks (1856).
  2. John Wilkes Booth (anti-Republican Democrat) assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
  3. Southern night riders and the KKK during Reconstruction and into the mid-1900s. (Democrats) – question: do we count each of the lynchings as separate acts of violence?
  4. Chicago Haymarket riot (1886)
  5. Pres. McKinley’s 1901 assassination by Leon Frank Czolgosz (Leftwing anarchist)
  6. Sedition Act of 1918 by Woodrow Wilson (Progressive Democrat)
  7. Assassination attempt on FDR, killing Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, by Guiseppe Zangara in 1933 (left-wing anarchist)
  8. FDR’s internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII (Democrat progressive)
  9. FALN attack against Pres. Harry Truman (communist)
  10. Sheriff Bull Connors, Gov. George Wallace (Democrats)
  11. John Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (communist)
  12. Pres. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”
  13. 1968 Democrat Convention
  14. Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan (leftwing Palestinian supporter)
  15. Sarah Jane Moore’s attempted assassination of Pres. Gerald Ford
  16. Berkeley People’s Park riot in 1969 (campus socialists, communists and anarchists)
  17. Students for a Democratic Society aka SDS (communist)
  18. Bombing (1970) of Math Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison (anti-war communists)
  19. Symbionese Liberation Army (communists)
  20. American Indian Movement (AIM) killing of FBI agents at Wounded Knee (socialist American Indian activists)
  21. The Weathermen, incl. Dohrn and Ayers (communist)
  22. Puerto Rican terrorist group FALN bombings (communist)
  23. Black Panthers (Left-wing socialist/communist)
  24. James Jones of Jonestown fame (apostolic socialism)
  25. Earth Liberation Front (ELF)
  26. Attack on Branch Davidians (Janet Reno, Clinton Administration)
  27. Ted Kaczynski – Unabomber (leftwing anarchist and environmental fanatic, Gore acolyte)
  28. Left-wing violence, destruction and physical assaults at 1999 G-20 meeting in Seattle.
  29. Attack on Washington, D.C. Holocaust Memorial by James Wenneker von Brunn (anti-U.S. socialist sympathizer)
  30. Left-wing violence, destruction, physical assaults and weapons convictions at 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis.
  31. Joe Stack, Austin IRS bomber (anti-Republican, anti-capitalist, anti-wealthy people)
  32. Physical attacks on conservative speakers at university campuses
  33. Multiple physical attacks against Tea Party rallies by SEIU and others (2009).
  34. Shooting of pro-life demonstrator James Pouillon in Owosso, MI (2009)
  35. Physical assault by S. Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge against student, caught on video.
  36. Discovery Center attack and hostage-taking by James Lee in Sept. 2010 (leftwing environmentalist)

REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE – LINKED VIOLENCE

  1. John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry (?)
  2. Attacks on abortion clinics and murders and attempted murders of abortion providers (conservative Christian group-affiliated (?) individuals)
  3. Firearm attack by Jim D. Adkisson against Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, claiming opposition to its policies (2008)
  4. 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing by Eric Robert Rudolph (see “attacks on abortion clinics” above).

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Please delete, amend or add-to the list as you see fit.

Or, let’s have even more fun: how about a comparable list of CONSERVATIVE acts of political violence?

We shall then be able to offer two lists for posterity.

Comments and contributions? Please make them as specific as possible.

UPDATE***

I have broken these out into two lists and will make additions as they come in.

UPDATE***

OK…I’m convinced. I’ve taken the Tuscon, Ariz. shooting off of the “Left” column.

Getting Republicans off the spending dope

Mitch McConnell proved himself, really proved himself, when it came to the omnibus spending bill.  Kimberly Strassel explains:

This week Democrats unveiled a $1.2 trillion omnibus, legislation as pure an insult to the electorate as it gets. It was a 1,924-page monstrosity that nobody had time to read. It took 11 spending bills that Democrats couldn’t be bothered to pass individually and crammed them into one oozing ball of pork and bad policy, going beyond even the obscene budget of 2010.

Yet to this legislative Frankenstein Democrats carefully attached the spenders’ equivalent of crack cocaine. To wit, omnibus author and Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye dug up earmark requests that Senate Republicans had made in the past year (prior to their self-imposed ban) and, unasked, included them in the bill. He lavished special, generous attention—$1 billion worth of it—on some reliable GOP earmark junkies: Mississippi’s Thad Cochran got $512 million; Utah’s Bob Bennett, $226 million; Maine’s Susan Collins, $114 million; Missouri’s Kit Bond, $102 million; Ohio’s George Voinovich, $98 million; and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, $80 million.

The effect of this dope—just sitting there, begging for a quick inhale—on earmarkers was immediate. Two seconds into the sweats and shaking hands, nine Republicans let Mr. Reid know they’d be open to this bill.

[snip]

That [the omnibus bill's passage] didn’t happen, but only because Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell accomplished a mini Christmas miracle. The Kentuckian devoted yesterday to making the arguments—both principled and political—to the Spending Nine. He was ultimately persuasive enough, and the earmarkers wise enough, to pull back their support. A very unhappy Mr. Reid was forced to yank the omnibus last night. He will now work with Republicans on a short-term funding bill, a process that should give the incoming GOP House far more influence over upcoming spending decisions.

What a difference a half a generation and a little geography make *UPDATED*

I was very flattered that neo-neocon used one of my posts to examine how she, when still a liberal, thought about Republicans.  Her primary point is that, because she is just a few years older than I, she still remembers a Republican era in America that wasn’t bad.  She has Eisenhower memories, while my Republican memories were all Nixon.  In the same way, her memories of the Civil Rights movement focused on actual bad Democrats, while the re-hashes I got in the 1970s had already whitewashed the Democrat party of all complicity with Jim Crow.  I think she’s right.  I came of age when the Republican brand was sold as tainted goods to those who had no memories of the original.

One other difference, though, is that I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In that venue, Republican hatred was pretty much the air we breathed.  But San Francisco was my home, and it has always been a lovely city, so I never really questioned the attitude.  It was only when I went to UC Berkeley, which offers San Francisco’s politics on steroids, except without any of San Francisco’s charm, that I started, slowly, wondering if I should espouse the views held so fervently by such very icky people.

It was dreadfully hard for me to question my unthinking assumptions, and took me way too long, but I’m so glad I did.

UPDATE:  This is the perfect video to insert here, because it demonstrates with ugly emphasis how I was taught to think about conservatives:

Hat tip:  Paul Rahe at Ricochet

Californians: Vote a straight Republican ticket

My friend Sally Zelikovsky says it in the clearest words possible:  Unless conservatives in California vote for the Republicans, we will have a Sacramento government made up entirely of San Francisco Democrats.  If that horrible outcome sounds painfully obvious to you, you don’t know California.

There are two dynamics in California that are a problem.  First, conservatives don’t like the Republican candidates.  (They’re right not to.  Fiorina is lovely — and may she get well soon — but the others are “eh” at best.)  This means California conservatives may be tempted to (a) sit this one out or (b) vote for a write-in or minor candidate.  Those are luxuries of ordinary elections, though.  In California, this election is not about a favored conservative candidate winning; it’s about making sure the Democratic candidate loses.  And the only way to do that is with vast numbers of votes for the Republican, even if that requires some nose holding.

The other dynamic is Prop. 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana.  Have you wondered by George Soros is promoting it?  Do you think George Soros gives a flying whatsit about whether Californians have legal marijuana?  I can assure you that he doesn’t.  But he knows one group that does care a great deal, and it’s a group that votes reliably Democrat:  young people.  Yup.  Prop. 19 is a “get out the youthful Democrat vote” effort.  This means that, while most young people around America are sitting out this election, there is a very good chance that California’s young people will be heading to the polls.

So if you’re a Californian, and you have memories, increasingly faint memories, of a true Golden State, VOTE and VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

No compromise on American values — by guest blogger Zhombre

Mike Pence asked me for money today. He seems like a good guy. I hope he wins.

Life, liberty and limited government, he wrote, these are the cherished ideals of our nation, and they are ideals from which we must never stray.

Indeed they are. Truly American ideals. As David Mamet, writes, as American as apple pie or stuffing the ballot box.

But I’m not giving money to Mr. Pence. I am tapped out at this point. I have already sent small contributions to Sharron Angle, Allen West, Dan Webster (who is running in Florida against the blunt, swaggering, third rate demagogue Alan Grayson, of course lionized by the so-called progressives), Sean Bielat (Barney Frank’s opponent), even Christine O’Donnell in Delaware (seems like a nice young lady, maybe she’s a flake, but the Senate already includes Al Franken, so the bar for flakiness has been lowered).

But I digress. The point I want to make is this: HOLD ‘EM ACCOUNTABLE. Republicans will no doubt win big in November. But, as PJ O’Rourke says, this is not an election as much as it’s a restraining order served on Democrats.

The Republican party should not get the idea that they have any intrinsic value, or merit. Damn them if they do. They got the boot in 2006 and 2008 and now want to convey the idea that “we get it.” Do they? That remains to be seen. Hornswoggle tends to outrun and outlast good intentions.

We the People are the source of political power and legitimacy. Says so in the Constitution and Constitution is the law of the land and the basis of our governance. A political party is merely an instrument of the people, a tool to be reworked or cast aside if it fails to do the job you set it to. Its institutional life is finite and its integrity can be bartered away by small weak men, and women, who believe they are something other than small weak men, and women.

So let me reiterate: the Republicans must be held accountable past November. And into 2011, and into 2012, and thereafter. The battle does not end. It’s not never-ending jihad, of course, but it is a long running conflict in the West between the people who would govern themselves,thank you very much, and the people who would rule over other people because We Know Better. Than you bitter clingers. Than you rabbit people. Than you teabaggers. Than you, well, you get the idea.

You don’t do the victory dance, get drunk and then go home to sleep it off and wake the next day to business as usual. As Franklin said (however apocryphal it may be) it’s a republic if you can keep it. Most haven’t been kept. History, like the casino, bets you lose. Study history: republics founder and fail. Machiavelli asserted so, and Cicero, for all his patriotism and fine words, got his head chopped off by Antony’s agents, with Octavian’s acquiescence. But Washington did not make himself emperor (if you want to see a contrast, google Iturbide). We’ve prided ourselves on American exceptionalism: America is the land of reinvention, restlessness and winning the trifecta. I am willing to take that bet.

On which side of the political fence do you sit?

Don Quixote sent me an email this morning.  It seemed like a great thing to post, especially while I’m digesting all the stuff in today’s news:

Subject: The Fence……….

Which side of the fence?

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
A Democrat demands that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he’s “offended”.
Well, I forwarded it.

Attention Neocons: Just do it!

A couple of years ago, I switched my lifelong party affiliation from Democrat to Independent.  The fact is that I’m more closely aligned with Republicans than Independents, despite having some serious reservations about Republican Party management, but I just couldn’t make myself put that “R” by my name.  Today, however, I switched once again, registering as a Republican.

I thought I’d feel weird, but I actually feel good about it — and for a very specific reason.  By officially changing to a Republican voter, I’m both a part of and creating momentum.  Who cares if the pollsters never call me to learn that I’m part of a growing crowd of self-identified conservatives?  By placing that voter registration form in the mail, I’ve made a statement even bigger than the pollsters’ numbers:  I’m Republican and I vote.

If you’re an Independent or a Democrat who’s changed values but hasn’t yet changed parties, do it now.  I know that the Republican Party in Marin is swelling (at least by Marin standards) and these things do make a difference.

A message for San Francisco GOPers

I’m not a San Francisco voter, nor am I familiar with the GOP in that District.  (All I know is that stalwart SF GOPers must truly be of hardy stock.)  Having received this email, however, I wanted to pass it on to you, for what it’s worth.  It’s not an endorsement (because I don’t know Ed Sheppard at all, so any endorsement would be meaningless), but it’s certainly information those of you in the City should have:

Hello,

I know you have all probably been getting a lot of political emails lately, so I apologize for adding one more to your inbox. But as many of you know, during this June, along with voting in primaries for Governor, Senate, Congress, Assembly and other offices, Republicans everywhere will be electing their county Central Committees, including here in San Francisco. These races usually do not get much attention, but they are important, because these 25 people who are elected will be in charge of the SFGOP for 2 years. And since all politics are local, its very important that our local party is a strong one.

As many of you may also know, I am running for the SFGOP. And I would like to ask for your support in that run. Normally in a election, when someone running for ANY office asks for your support, they are really asking for money. Not me. I will only be spending $100 on online advertising, and not one dime will come from me begging people for cash. So then what do I mean by asking for your support?

1) If you’re in my district, please vote for Edwin G. Sheppard (yes, that is how my name will appear on the ballot)
2) Forward the link to my “campaign” website to your SF Republican friends: http://eshep2010.wordpress.com/
3) Check out my website. It was completely free.

As I mentioned previously, Central Committee races, especially the Republican one in San Francisco, do not get much attention. This is probably the only email you will receive about a Central Committee race; if you tell a friend about it, it might be the only time they hear about a Central Committee race. Word of mouth, therefore, plays a big role in Central Committee races; even telling just 5 people about it is a big contribution.

Thanks in advance (hopefully) for you help and support!

Ed

GOP, RINOS, and the Tea Party — by guest blogger W. H. Strom

First, this is what my background and has shaped my thinking, my starting point.  I am a hard line conservative.  I have been ever since gaining my maturity.  I am well educated, two master’s degrees, one in Strategic Intelligence.  I was born on the left coast, I am a practicing Christian, I live in Virginia, and was in the military (30 years) and a military contractor (10 years).  Now, why did I just bring all that up?  In my profession I have had to be an active listener.  First I flew fighter aircraft in combat and in opposition to the great USSR (Russia to the newbees) I had to know the world situation.  Later as an intelligence officer I changed my perspective somewhat, more toward learning what was going to happen in the near future.  I became very versed to situations and attitudes in the area of potential adversaries.

When you study potential adversaries motivations are as important, or more so, than capabilities.  The US military has sufficient wherewithal to destroy or damage most capability that our adversaries possess.  It’s the motivation that is the driving force.  As an intelligence officer and aircrew member, I was more than a little interested in the motivation of the people who were, occasionally, shooting at me.  After the wall fell, the intelligence game became much more difficult.  Instead of just one adversary, there was the potential of many.  Again, why do I bring this up?

I am “tuned in”, so to speak, to motivations and behavior.  I don’t much care about what people say as what they do.  What I have seen in the US Congress is that almost every time there is some great contentious bill come to vote, that vote is nearly always along party lines, regardless of “Blue Dogs” or “Moderate” Republicans. Witness the last Senate vote on health care, and several other like votes in 2009.  That was even more evident prior to the great upraising of the American public through such devices as the tea parties.

I just read the Wall Street Journal article on “Purity” tests.  I don’t like them.  Throughout my careers I have pretty much run my actions by “selective neglect”.  I do what I want of my superior’s wishes and ignore the rest.  I have been, on occasion, slapped down, but generally, I have had a relatively successful career.  There are others out there like me.  Locking someone up to a “test” to a list of values, of which some may vary in the next few years, does not seem like a good idea.  If there were to be a “Purity” test, it should be broad: defend the constitution; kill political correctness in all its varied guises; support a strong defense; really understand and expose the roots of  the Muslim religion; stand by our allies; and let freedom reign.

Third parties cannot win.  They are too small, take votes from a larger party and let someone in without a majority (Clinton’s first win).  It takes several elections to take over one of the top two.  In the mean-time, the left will smash this country.  What has started, and what we need to continue, is a redefinition of the Republican Party.  I am a George W. Bush admirer, but he let some stuff slip by in his last year in office, perhaps to salvage a “historical” view of his presidency.  Had I gone through the eight years he did, my sanity would also be questioned, but some attitudes and decisions must be reversed.  Goldwater did it for us in 1964, it’s time again.

I like Tea Parties.  It started out as a movement and needs to stay that way.  If it becomes a party it is very possible that much of its efforts will go toward maintaining its status.  That is a killer.  So, let’s all calmly look at the big picture.  Ultimately it comes down to how many Ds and Rs there are in Congress.  I vote for Rs.  I don’t much care if they are RINOS (as long as there are no good conservatives running).  I definitely do not vote for any Ds, regardless of how well they campaign, witness the last Presidential election and the Senatorial election here in Virginia a few years before that.  I only care about results, and Rs are much more likely to vote the way I want them than Ds.  Let’s not cut our own throats.  Nothing is done in a day or even in an election cycle.  Let’s get involved in the GOP and revolt from within if we don’t like what we see.  And for God’s Sake, let’s get out from under the elitist Northeasterners.

I am like the commenter I saw at this blog earlier:  I voted for Palin.  I like my politics sweet and simple, no secrets.  Whether Sarah can get an adequate staff together and overcome what the MSM has done to here, I don’t know, but now she is my template for a solid conservative people’s candidate.  If you don’t like my choice, that’s OK.  I will go along with the majority, unlike the members of the Democrat Party (I just can’t call them democratic).

Last comment: We must keep the pressure on.  Yes it was great to elect Senator Brown of Massachusetts, but remember, he is an eastern Republican.  He has stated that he could vote with the Democrats on some issues.  He is not Reagan, Palin, or even Gingrich.  We must continue to push the events of the past year, keep it in the news so the massive Democrat public relations campaign which has started doesn’t pervert the great uninterested public.

Summary: The GOP, along with all the RINOS who will play with us, needs to merge with the tea partiers and present a united front.  We need to keep the momentum going and not allow the 50 to 60 percent of the American public, who really don’t pay attention to politics, to forget the horrible fate that almost befell us.

W. H. Strom
Conservative

The GOP needs to study the art of pizza making

Domino’s Pizza has just come had with one of the most brilliant ads I’ve ever seen — and, even better, the ad seems to riff off of an even more brilliant corporate decision.  In essence, Domino’s realized its pizza stank, determined to change that fact, and then let the public know exactly where it erred and how it was fixing the problem:

I don’t even like pizza, and I’m tempted to order in one of these nights.

Unsurprisingly, astute political observers have noticed that the GOP could learn some lessons from Domino’s, and no one is more astute than Jonah Goldberg:

Obviously, the analogy to the GOP isn’t perfect. For example, last I checked, Domino’s didn’t get bogged down in an unpopular war.

But the GOP’s troubles over the last decade have a lot to do with the fact that Americans didn’t stop liking what the Republican party is supposed to deliver. They stopped liking what the GOP actually delivered.

In the remainder of his article (which you should definitely read), Goldberg envisions what a GOP  turnaround would look like.

As for me, one of the things I’d suggest right off the bat is getting rid of Michael Steele.  I really liked the guy when he first took over.  I thought (and still think, I guess) that he has charm and courage.  Unfortunately, he’s got a tin ear when it comes to political management.  He’s like the un-James Carville.  Carville who was charmless, but he really understood how politics operates.  And then I’d just retreat to core conservative values:  more money in the hands of the people and less churning through government; a willingness to identify the enemy and defend against him; and a belief in American greatness, something that need not exist only at the expense of other nations, but that should be celebrated on its own terms.

The new Republican playbook

In the wake of the 2008 election, Republicans and conservatives were paralyzed.  They’d been trounced, not so much by sweeper percentages (that is, the elections were all just over the slightly 50% mark), but by huge numbers of elections in which Democrats edged out Republicans by those few percentage marks.  If there are 100 races, and you lose 90 of them, it’s really irrelevant whether you lost by 5% or by 30%.  You still lost big across the board.  What to do?  What to do?

Fortunately, adversity has a way of clearing out the deadwood and clarifying the issues.  We know that Barack Obama is anti-American in ideology and that he hates America as a practical matter.  We know that he has surrounded himself with a cadre of advisers and czars who share his views, and that the top echelons in Congress do too.  It’s all spread out before us.

With the malignant disease of rampant anti-American Leftism — a world view antithetical to an increasing number of Americans — finally diagnosed in Washington, Jennifer Rubin has the prescription:

Now it has unfolded. We know what Obamaism looks like. On the domestic side, it is liberal statism: higher taxes, mammoth bureaucracies, and a vortex of government regulation that sucks up private enterprise and transforms business decisions into political ones. It comes with an ungracious and sneering contempt for opposition. On the international scene, we have the intersection of incompetence and folly, with a strong element of cynicism. The Obami have deployed aggressive and losing gambits (Honduras and the Middle East), betrayed friends (Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic), snubbed allies (the Churchill bust goes home), thrown ourselves at the feet of adversaries (Russia, Iran), jettisoned human rights and the defense of democracy (Burma, Sudan, Iran), projected angst-ridden indecision (Afghanistan-war formulation), damaged our fighting ability (defense cuts and missile-defense withdrawal), and shown deference to debased institutions (the UN). Most alarmingly, Obama and his attorney general have scarred and scared our intelligence community and placed Lefty pie-in-the-sky moralizing above the safety of Americans (trying KSM, closing Guantanamo, and halting enhanced interrogations).

And so what should conservatives be doing? Well now it’s obvious — oppose, obstruct, warn, and cajole. There aren’t many weapons at conservatives’ disposal, but there are some. And the greatest is to be found in the reservoir of common sense and decency of the America people, who, when stirred, have risen up to oppose pernicious legislation and those whom they mistakenly trusted to behave in a responsible fashion. As Kristol points out, three years is a long time, but the congressional elections are approaching and the argument has begun. And now conservatives know precisely what must be done: as best they are able, slow and stop Obamaism until reinforcements arrive and the voters can render their verdict.

To which I’ll add Bruce Kesler’s reminder, in the context of Obama’s insane nuclear strategy, that we should “Be afraid. Be very afraid. Be aware, and more determined than ever to slow and halt this self-destruction in the elections of 2010 and 2012. Start by demanding that potential Republican challengers are informed and resolute, and don’t ignore the saner Democrats. We’re all in this together.”

GOP fails to connect with its base

We knew this, but C. Edmund Wright sums it up as pithily as anything I’ve ever seen.  In explaining why Democrats have been winning  since 2006, despite the fact that America is a conservative country, Wright points out that Democrats agree with their representatives, while conservatives consistently find Republican politicians too liberal.  The result?

There is a huge disconnect between the GOP and its voters on the one hand, while the DNC and its elected leaders are right in step with their voting base by comparison. Thus the DNC runs more dynamic and successful campaigns while the RNC thrashes about trying to figure out where they went wrong.

Can (and should) the Republican Party be saved

     I lied a bit when I said I’d taken a break from blogging.  At Bookworm’s urging I did write one American Thinker piece with ideas on how to turn around the image of the Republican Party.   And, boy does the old GOP need an image make-over.  As Bookworm likes to say, the problem is in the branding.  I’m a good example.  I’ve been a Republican for 30 years and I’m still uncomfortable saying so.   It’s almost something I feel I have to apologize for or justify.

     So, the first question is, can the image of the Republican Party be restored, so that Republicans can be proud to be  Republicans?  What concrete steps should be taken to accomplish this?  Keep in mind the Republican Party has been the minority party for most of our lifetimes.  How can such a long-sailing ship be turned around?

     The next question is, if you think the Republican Party cannot (or should not) be saved, what do you believe will replace it?  What do you want to replace it?  What concrete steps should be taken to accomplish this?  Keep in mind, there hasn’t been a successful new party in the United States in 150 years.  How could one be created now?

     I’m looking for very practical suggestions here.  Somehow we need to present an image, either of the Republican Party or of a new party, that can compete with the Democrats’ image of a caring, compassionate, warm heart.  I’m not asking how we tear down the Democrats.  I’m sure we’ve got lots of ideas on that (and maybe I’ll ask for those later in this vacation).  But, for now, how do we build up an alternative?  As always, I look forward eagerly to your ideas and thank you for them.

GOP: Real solutions for a real recovery

Republicans are finally figuring out how to push back:

I like Ed Morrissey’s comment about the video:

Today, Barack Obama once again dishonestly claimed that Porkulus opponents wanted to “do nothing” in the face of the economic collapse, but that’s simply not true — which Obama might have learned had he leaned on Nancy Pelosi to include Republicans in the negotiations. Instead, she locked the doors, which resulted in zero GOP votes for Porkulus in the House, and only three in the Senate.

Five people in a kitchen — by guest blogger Danny Lemieux

Five People in a Kitchen

By Danny Lemieux

Part I: We need focus!

We were just five concerned Americans meeting in a middle class Chicagoland suburb on a cold spring day. Our point for this meeting was not to gripe. It was to see if we could identify constructive solutions to the Democrat Left’s hold on our nation and all that for which it stands . . . a hold that we are convinced will destroy us.

We addressed two big challenges: (1) how do we counter the very effective (thug, smear, demagogue…fill in the blank, here) tactics of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, a book conceived in the 20th Century’s fascist era, consecrated in the radical ‘70s, and aptly dedicated to “Lucifer” by its author one year before his death in 1972 (whereupon, we can only surmise that the author was promptly and personally thanked for his dedication). Among all other “how to” guides available to 20th Century fascists, this was the tome chosen as the working bible of the American radical Left.  As we’ve seen, it works.  And (2), given its effectiveness, how do we prepare ourselves for the next election?

Why the next election? Because, quite frankly, given the Alinsky-driven fraud, manipulation, fear tactics, illegal funding and demagoguery evident in the last election, we five agreed that this next election may well be our last truly free election for a very, very long time. Moreover, the next time around, ACORN will enjoy a multi-billion dollar war chest, expropriated from me, thee and other productive taxpayers by the parasitic classes in our society. The opposition will also enjoy the full force of government power to leak dirt, real or imagined, disclose divorce files and other legal documents, and intimidate and harass the opposition. Despite the title of Alinsky’s book, there really are no rules, only tactics and objectives. Think of the persons that trashed pregnant teen Bristol Palin; torched Sarah Palin’s church with kids inside; wished failed kidneys upon Rush Limbaugh; slashed campaign bus tires in Milwaukee; did opposition research on a citizen-plumber; or unsealed the Court-sealed divorce papers of Obama’s Senate opponent, Jack Ryan. Something truly wicked this way comes.

As I noted, we were only five – three men and two women: two business consultants, one nurse, a graphics designer and a furniture maker – a perfect number for intense, serious discussion. For my fellow Bookworm groupies, our dear Deana was there. If labels are necessary, I’d characterize my illustrious guests as libertarian and conservative…Tea Party types. Some of us, in our younger days, had been Liberal and Democrat before we finally grew up…including (mea culpa!) me, moi and myself. My hope is that this was only one of millions of such meetings that have been and will take place all around our country leading up to 2010.

The first step we took was to define the problem…to frame the issues.

We took stock of our situation. We all agreed that America is an exceptional country that has been a terrific force for good to its own citizens and round the world. We all agreed that this era is ending and we really don’t like this. But for now, we still aren’t quite sure how to resist and reverse the surging tide. Our collective forecast was grim: we agreed that our country is likely to go bankrupt the way of Argentina or stagnate the way of Japan. We agreed that we are likely to soon find ourselves in a war . . . a major war. Why? Because as people who study the lessons of history, we are doomed to watch others repeat them and that one very salient lesson of history is that weakness invites attack. It’s the way of the world . . . the real world, not the abstract perceptions of American Liberal middle-and-upper- class utopia. There’s already blood in the water.

Then we defined the objectives.

We have a little less than 18 months to prepare for the next election.

Gauging from the last election, we probably don’t need to change that many minds. Obama’s margin of victory was about 10 million votes out of 69 million cast in his name. If we exclude those that voted Democrat because they were mad at GW or scared witless about the economy’s meltdown (let no crisis go to waste!), then we probably only need to sway about two-to-three million extra votes in key strategic areas. Although the Democrat Left has been very clever to schedule their massive tax and spend programs so that most of the pain will not be felt until after the 2010 elections, I doubt that they will be successful. As usual, they bank on a static world whereas everything is very much in flux. The pain is coming much faster than anticipated. Markets are forward looking and will react accordingly to the oncoming tsunami of debt and taxation. Our nation’s credit rating is already in question. Jobs will continue to be lost and (big) international mistakes will continue to be made. So, I think that we can safely expect disgruntlement to be at minimum at a low boil by 2010.

Plus, consider market segmentation.

We (all of us) only have limited resources to expend, so we need to expend them efficiently. We could go after the broad segment of the population that voted for Obama, or we could focus on the most likely converts. Let’s consider who voted for Obama:

In one group we have the true believers – the hard core leftists, the MoveOn.org, MSNBC and Huffington Post crowd. They wallow in an alternate universe of bile, violence, hatred and perceptions and values that can never be reconciled with objective reality. They are, at their core, utopians who rage against the failings of a reality-based universe when in reality they rage against themselves and the unrequited wounds of troubled upbringings. As per the parable of the sower, this is rocky soil that can bear no fruit.

The second group is the group that simply fell in love with Obama, our Rorschach President. They love his voice, they love his demeanor and they love his looks and they hear only what they wanted to hear as they project their wants and needs upon him. This, folks, is Oprah-world. It’s a waste of time. These are the frivolous people whose waters will never run deep. These are the people that take their cues from daytime TV, Letterman, Olbermann and SNL and company. Don’t get me wrong, IQ has nothing to do with this: I know quite a few otherwise intelligent people that fall into this category, the MSM “intellectual” class being a case in point. We can’t waste our time and effort on these people…these are dead leaves blowing endless circles in the winds of hype.

The third group is the only one that matters.

These are the core value Democrats, the Reagan Democrats, the traditional value, blue-dog Democrats. They may have fundamental disagreements with Republicans (or what they think Republicans represent), the demonized “Christian Right” (oooo…let’s all look under our beds now!) and what they perceive us to be as “conservatives”, but their own values are, at heart, basically conservative. Most in this group are middle working class. Some are plumbers, others truckers (if I have learned anything from talk radio, it is that some of our most perceptive political thinkers are truckers). Many are black and Hispanic. Most work hard, enjoy normal family activities, worry about their kids and frankly don’t think too hard about politics until they have to. In sum, most lead healthy, balanced lives defined by by solid work ethics and values. They are fundamentally decent people. These, my friends, are America’s Hobbits…what one wizard referred to as an incredible repository of strength…once they are engaged. These are voters, under the constant onslaught of the MSM, who have not had the time or opportunity to hear or understand different points of view. These tend to be deeply patriotic Americans who have ample reason to distrust State power and have ample reason to be concerned about the future. They will awaken, of that I am sure.

This is our target market. And, remember…we only need to sway two or three million of them to share our perspectives on the world. We can do this.

Coming soon — How do we effectively change minds?

Channeling Mark Steyn

Okay, so it took me three as many words, and about two thirds less elan, but I think I said here, exactly the same thing Mark Steyn says here about Colin Powell (including the Woodward snipe and the mourning for those poor Kurds Powell betrayed):

Is conservatism over?

Well, of course it is. Everyone from James Carville to Colin Powell says so. “The Republican party is in deep trouble,” General Powell told some group willing to pay him serious money to deliver this kind of incisive insight. “Americans do want to pay taxes for services. Americans want more government in their lives, not less.”

Whether or not they want it, they’re certainly going to get it. And if you like big government now, just think how big it’ll be once both parties are fully signed up to the concept. You’ll recall that General Powell voted for Barack Obama, coming out and publicly stiffing his “beloved friend” John McCain, after years of more discreetly stiffing (in leaks to Bob Woodward and others) his not-so-beloved colleagues in the Bush administration. But, in fairness to the former secretary of state, his breezy endorsement of more government and more taxes is as near as we’ve ever got to a coherent political philosophy from him. If the GOP refuses to take his advice, I would urge him to run a third-party campaign on this refreshingly candid platform.

One of Powell’s more famous utterances was his rationale, after the 1991 Gulf War, for declining to involve the U.S. military in the Balkans: “We do deserts, we don’t do mountains.” Actually, by that stage, the U.S. barely did deserts. The first President Bush’s decision, at Powell’s urging, not to topple Saddam but to halt the coalition forces at the gates of Baghdad sent the world a message about American purpose whose consequences we live with to this day. As for the Kurds and Shiites to whom it never occurred that the world’s superpower would assemble a mighty coalition for the purpose of fighting half a war to an inconclusive conclusion, Saddam quickly took a bloody revenge: That’s an interesting glimpse of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Colin Powell’s much-vaunted “moderation.”

Intellectually, I feel as if I’m in august company.

Of course, having briefly made the right point about Powell’s bona fides (or lack thereof) when it comes to criticizing Republicans, Steyn goes on to do something I didn’t do, which is to discuss the process conservatives are going through as they lick their wounds and prepare to fight future battles.  Am I being redundant, given that this is a Mark Steyn article, if I recommend that you read the rest of it?

Reports of our deaths may be somewhat exaggerated

The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article today touting the demise of the GOP in California:

With their registrations sinking and their political clout withering, California Republicans have come out of the November election in danger of slipping into political irrelevance across much of the state.

[snip]

Since 2004, Republican registration has dropped by more than 317,000 in the state, while Democrats have picked up 563,000 new voters. Five previously GOP counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus and San Bernardino, now have more Democrats than Republicans.

You can read the rest here, which discusses the numbers, and which also has some quotations from Republicans pointing out that the 2008 blow-out could have been worse, so things aren’t that bad.

Certainly Republicans aren’t doing well in California.  In the last two decades, California has gone from being the most reliably Republican of states to being an equally reliably Democratic state.  And as the article notes, a lot of very conservative counties have switched political allegiances.  I just wonder if Republicans are quite as dead as the Chron announces (and seems to hope is true).

The reason for my suspicion that conservativism in California is very sick but not dead yet and, perhaps, not even fatally ill, is what I see going on in Marin:  Conservatives, tired of being treated like second, third or fourth class citizens, are starting to congregate.  The party I described the other day is a perfect example of a grassroots conservative movement that’s bypassing the Republican party entirely.  Whether we’ll eventually join up with traditional Republicanism remains unclear, but we’re out there and we’re not inclined to walk away from the political fray.

I’d also like to see a study showing the growth rate for registered Independent voters in California.  What I’ve learned, both from my own experience, and from listening to other neocons, is that we new conservatives are not inclined to register as Republicans.  Instead, we tick off the Independent box.

There are, I think, three reasons for the reluctance to become registered Republicans.  First, as neocons, we don’t necessarily buy into the entire Republican package, and don’t want to give it our wholehearted imprimatur by identifying ourselves as such.  (As for me, I’d register Libertarian if it weren’t for the fruitcake factor and Ron Paul.)

Second, as lifelong Democrats, it’s hard to see an “R” after our names.  Independent is an almost sexy compromise, one that signals a break with the Democratic party without actually crossing the line into the former enemy’s camp.

And third, with the internet, which makes it easy for friends and neighbors to find out your party affiliation, even if they wasn’t what they were searching for when they plugged your name into Google, registering as an Independent helps preserve political privacy, especially if the neocon is not yet ready to face the opprobrium that comes with an ideological realignment.

I certainly hope that the Chron’s article is both exaggerated and premature.  Still, it makes important points that conservatives (not Republicans, but conservatives) should take seriously, and reminds us all that we have an awful lot to do in California over the next few years.

Trying to fool all of the people all of the time

I periodically check out Yahoo’s most popular news to see what AP articles are getting the most play according to the Yahoo picks (which, except for including Ann Coulter, skew liberal).  It’s fascinating to see the AP headlines, each of which is snarky, dismissive or critical of Palin in some way, even the “positive” ones:

  1. Palin provides a “perfect populist pitch” — While it’s true that “populism” can simply mean “appealing to the people,” it also has a more negative connotation:  “any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.”  I leave it to you to decide which meaning the AP headline writer had in mind.  As it happens, the article is flattering.
  2. Attacks praise, stretch truth at GOP convention — Translation:  the GOP people lied.
  3. Palin:  Iraq war “a task that is from God” — And remember, don’t get so carried away with her rhetoric that you forget that she’s a religious fanatic who will listen to the voices in her head to take us into war.
  4. Analysis:  GOP contradicts self on Palin family — We’re all hypocrites.
  5. Few minorities on GOP platform — We’re racist pigs, too.  (I don’t think the AP et al realize how frustrating it is to conservatives that the Democrats have locked down minorities despite the fact that conservatives firmly believe that minorities would benefit more if they could shake off the liberal shackles of victimhood.)
  6. Cindy McCain parts with Palin on abortion, sex ed — Watch out:  There’s division in the ranks at the highest level.  (Or, more optimistically, maybe we conservatives are a Big Tent.)

Perhaps the above headlines might explain the latest Rasmussen poll, which is headlined thusly:  Poll:  51 percent say reporters are trying to hurt Palin.

Let me leave you with Abraham Lincoln’s words:  “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Conservative politics in a nutshell

Thanks to ex cathedra, I’ve learned that the guy in that fun video in my post yesterday has prepared a tighter video statement of his conservative beliefs:

In commenting on the video, USMaleSF notes that he agrees with the conservative principles, but not the Republican party affiliation.  I understand that attitude.  Conservatism is a belief system, which is nice and pure.  The Republican party is a political entity, peopled with fallible humans.

In the past several years, those same fallible humans have fallen away from pure conservative principles –  they’ve been corrupt, profligate and, often, cowardly.  However, they are the political party that still hews closest to those principles, especially in this fight against Obama.  That’s why, rather than calling myself a conservative Republican, I would say that I’m a conservative who votes Republican.

This isn’t necessarily good news for the Dems *UPDATED*

There’s a rather excited headline in today’s NY Times:

GOP Drops in Voting Rolls in Many States

You can just hear the huzzahs all over liberal households in America:  “Republicans are vanishing.  The Dems are getting stronger.”  Well, maybe.

There’s something interesting, though, in the very first paragraph of that same story (emphasis mine):

For more than three years starting in 2005, there has been a reduction in the number of voters who register with the Republican Party and a rise among voters who affiliate with Democrats and, almost as often, with no party at all.

I’m one of those “no party at all” people.  Because of the way in which information about me is available to everyone on the internet, not to mention the fact that the post office sometimes delivers my mail to my neighbors and vice versa, when I decided to abandon the Democratic party, I didn’t necessarily want to telegraph that move to everyone and his uncle.  I also enjoyed the feeling of becoming unfettered from one party, and didn’t necessarily feel like becoming immediately leg-shackled to another one.  I therefore registered as an Independent.  I felt (and still feel) free.  I periodically mean to re-register as a Republican because of the primaries, but just can’t make myself do so.  I like not being locked into a party.

Given the libertarian instincts that characterize many conservatives, as well as their fear in Blue neighborhoods of being investigated by their neighbors, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m not the only conservative out there who is doing an “Independent” or “decline to state” registration.  Certainly the fact that there were a lot more Republican votes in Marin last election than there were Republican voters hints at the fact that those who have opted for apparent neutrality are, in fact, conservative.  Or perhaps, they are genuinely neutral and, when they analyze the facts available during any given election cycle, the Republican position strikes them as more rational and vote-worthy.

I’m not denying the fact that the Republican brand is in deep doo-doo.  Republicans have been wasteful with taxpayer resources, and extraordinarily cowardly when it came to advancing conservative principles.  These are the kind of political failures that will turn aside both fair weather friends and, worse, deeply committed party members.

Nevertheless, I continue to wonder whether the voter rolls and the manifest disdain voters feel for Republicans will have as huge an impact in November as the MSM keeps saying it will.  We’ve seen before that the MSM is as optimistic about potential Democratic victories as I am being here about potential Republican voters.  In other words, the MSM analysis may be right, but only up to a point.  It leaves out, for example, the fact that, while Americans may have soured on Republicans, they are even more soured on the Democratic Congress — which has hit popularity lows only the most reviled kid in high school can imagine.

I’m not a betting woman, but I would be willing to bet that this coming election will be more of the same:  neither the massive victory the Democrats hope, nor the horrible rout Republicans fear.  Instead, we’ll just putter on with a slight Democratic majority in Congress and, God willing, a Republican in the White House.

UPDATEHere’s some concrete evidence that voters may succumb to a plague on both your houses approach to the elections, which simply to my mind means more of the status quo.

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is there, does it make a sound? *UPDATED*

You’ve all heard the question that is the title of my post, haven’t you?  Is an audience necessary for a sound to have meaning or even existence? And what if, in our world, the intermediary to the audience bugs out?  That’s today’s question, as Republicans vigorously debate the new drilling despite the fact that, Pelosi shut down the House, turned off the lights, and sent all her Democrats home.  And with the lights and mikes off, the media has mostly gone home, except those who try to display it, not as an act of substantive importance, but one of conservative silliness.

It seems to me though, in the wonderful world of the internet, we have the perfect opportunity to defang the MSM once and for all.  Go to the same Politico post to which I linked above, which describes what’s going on, and email it to your friends, and post it on your blogs, and talk about it to people.  In this Brave New Internet World, the MSM doesn’t have to be there; we the American people can be there instead.

To get you started, here is some of the Politico coverage:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House and turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi’s refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m. and are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.

At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz..) was speaking, the lights went back on, and the microphones were turned on shortly afterward.

But C-SPAN, which has no control over the cameras in the chamber, has stopped broadcasting the House floor, meaning no one is witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has now left.

Only about a half-dozen Republicans were on the floor when this began, but the crowd has grown to about 20 now, according to Patrick O’Connor.

“This is the people’s House,” Rep, Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) said. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”

Democratic aides were furious at the GOP stunt, and reporters were kicked out of the Speaker’s Lobby, the space next to the House floor where they normally interview lawmakers.

“You’re not covering this, are you?” complaing one senior Democratic aide. Another called the Republicans “morons” for staying on the floor.

The Politico story is exciting, too, because in a series of updates it’s clear that the Republicans are becoming more energized and the Dems more angry.  Keep in mind that the Dems and the Republicans know that the vast majority of Americans, tired of seeing their energy bills climb needlessly, are in favor of drilling.

UPDATE:  Finally, some live (ish) video.  Hat tip to the Anchoress, who is blogging about this here.

At long last, the Republicans are showing some mojo.  Let’s give them our help by keeping this a talking-point.

Flopping Aces is blogging too (and has a great cartoon).

Cool enough that it’s even worthwhile doing Yahoo searches

I have to admit that I’ve never liked Yahoo as a search engine.  I prefer, and have from day 1, Google.  However, the Republican National Committee has something cool that actually makes Yahoo searches worthwile, at least through November.  It’s a toolbar.  Install it and everytime you do a search using that toolbar, you raise a few pennies for the RNC.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I raised $0.5 in about two seconds, and that’s got to add up if a lot of people are doing the same thing all day long.

Controlling the debate

One of the first things you learn as litigation defense counsel is that you will lose if you let the plaintiff control the case’s message. It’s easy to let this happen, because the plaintiff comes out of the gate like gangbusters, and the defendant finds himself, logically, in a defensive, purely reactive posture. “You did this.” “I did not. And what if I did, anyway?” It’s all about responding to the plaintiff’s narrative.

What the defendant needs to do, and often doesn’t do until the eve of trial, is look at his own facts in a vacuum, without the throbbing background drumbeat of the plaintiff’s complaint. In every case in which I’ve taken the time to do this, and do it well, I’ve discovered that there is a completely different narrative theme available to the defendant — not one that is merely reactive and defensive, but one that stands on its own as coherent, believable (and often winnable) story. If I can get out from under the plaintiff’s tale, either the plaintiff loses entirely, or the plaintiff’s margin of victory shrinks substantially.

I wish the Republican party would figure out that the same rules of behavior should apply in this political race. Right now, in full gangbusters mode, the Democrats are marking out the battlefield. “Bush lied.” “Cheney is evil.” “We’ve lost in Iraq.” “Global warming and polar bears.” “Pathetic, maltreated illegal immigrants.” “Economic despair.” The Republicans are in a pure, panicked reactive mode, either desperately distancing themselves — “I never liked George Bush, either” — or trying to coopt the Democrats — “I’m more green than you are.” John McCain is no exception.

The Republicans need to take a deep breath, convene in a smoke filled back room and come up with their own story, untainted by the Democratic world view. Not surprisingly, because he is, after all, a lawyer, Hugh Hewitt completely understands this. The other day, when I had a rare moment alone in the car — meaning I could listen to grown-up radio — I caught Hewitt expounding on the pure conservative messages that the Republicans should be hammering home without fear. I’ve never figured out how to link to podcasts, so this is how you find it: Go here, and look for Hugh’s May 14 show, hour 2.

What Hugh has to say all comes out in the first ten minutes of that segment, and it’s very much worth listening to. Even if you don’t agree with everything he says, what stands out is that he’s envisioning a message that comes, first and foremost from the Republicans, without first being past through the Democratic filter. That’s how you win.

Right now, Republicans are in a losing posture, not because they have a bad message, but because they have no message at all. They look like cornered rats, trying to confuse the cat into thinking they’re something other than a tasty meal. They need to come out like gangbusters too, loud and proud, with a message that resonates with ordinary Americans. Right now, the Democratic message is resonating, but that’s primarily because there’s nothing else out there to stop those sound waves from vibrating around in the political ether.

Rich man, poor man

My kids used to go to a wonderful little private school. It was a stretch to afford it, but I felt the benefits outweighed the burden. Then the tuition went up, and up, and up. So we left. The wonderful little private school is now precisely like all the other private schools in our area, in that it has two classes of students: rich kids and kids on financial aid. (We joke that the students are made up of the kids of the investment bankers and the kids of their chauffeurs.)  The middle income families have gone into the public schools.

The political scene has seen the same shift. One hundred years ago, Republicans were rich and Democrats were not. That started changing with the Roosevelt Democrats. The change is now complete. As John at Power Line points out in a post about Democratic efforts to shut down Republican 527s:

Most rich people who care about politics are on the Left, and the Democrats have also mastered internet fundraising better than the Republicans. As a result, it is a given, for the foreseeable future, that in every important race the Democrats will have more money than the Republicans.

Just as the private schools in my community are for rich kids and their subsidized school mates, so too is the Democratic party for the very, very rich and their downtrodden buddies in select urban areas.  The middle income families (and those shading high and shading low in that middle, too), have gone to the Republicans or, sadly, collapsed into complete political inertia.

The question remaining is whether, just as more money in the home buys the better quality private schools, more money in the political arena will guarantee the rich party a numerical advantage at the polls.

Jews don’t vote Republican

When I was growing up, my best friend had the most wonderful grandparents. They were an incredibly flamboyant Polish couple who escaped the Holocaust because the woman was so charming she was able to talk the Nazis into letting them leave (with the help of some diamonds as bribes). He was pretty charming too, not to mention a dynamo.  He made fortunes for the thrill of it. He’d start with nothing in one industry or another, turn it into a million dollar concern in a few years, and then sell it off so he could have the fun of starting all over again.

Still, no matter how wonderful people are, age is going to creep up on them. These two got older and deafer and a little more confused with every passing year. Their digestive systems, too, started wearing out. The doctor recommended that they increase the fiber in their diet. He further recommended that, to do so, they start eating more vegetables. I’ll never forget the grandmother’s response to this suggestion, delivered in her rich Polish accent: “Ve’re Jews, Dahlink. Ve don’t eat vegetables!” It was incredibly funny, but it was also foolish.  There is, in fact, no predetermined correlation between being Jewish and eating (or not eating) vegetables.

I often think of that lovely old lady when I hear Jews says, essentially, “We’re Jews. We don’t vote Republican.” As with her statement about vegetables, there is no predetermined correlation between Jews and being conservatism. There’s nothing in the Bible that states “Thou shalt not vote for a Republican.” Nor has any rabbinical Biblical interpretation ever envisioned that God mandates Jewish allegiance to the Democrats. This is nothing more than a 60 year political preference that got locked in with Roosevelt.

Things may finally be changing, though, and, funnily enough, someone viewed as something of a Messiah is bringing about this religious transformation. Thoughtful Jews are becoming dismayed by Obama’s predelection for Iran, and the nasty habit he has of choosing advisers who run the gauntlet from being reflexively anti-Israel to being almost overtly antisemitic.

Richard Baehr, that insightful observer of the political scene, has this to say about a possible sea change in Jewish voter identification:

Jews who care about Israel have many reasons to have concerns about Barack Obama, pretty much all of which have been laid out in the American Thinker in a series of exhaustively researched articles by Ed Lasky.every national survey that has been taken comparing the parties on this issue. Of course, some Jews do not care about Israel very much, and those Jews can find a comfortable home in the Democratic Party, where support for Israel is far lower than among Republicans overall in

In any case, with Obama a risk on Israel and untested in matters of national security and foreign policy, and with the Republicans offering John McCain, a long time strong supporter of the US-Israel relationship and a man, whose entire career provides a definition of the words “tested” and “experienced”, it is no wonder that those Jews who choose this year to finally vote Republican will have a lot more company than they might have in the past.

You can read the rest of his excellent analysis here (complete with some pretty fascinating poll numbers).