August 26, 2008

Two Strong Views from the Right

Justin Katz

Yesterday brought a couple of opposing must-read columns from the right. First, John Derbyshire:

So I won't be watching either of the party conventions. Both parties' choices of nominee are appalling to me. I contemplate the next four years with dread.

I don't want either of these men in charge of the federal government, neither the crazy old fool nor the simpering sophomore. I don't want either the moralistic imperialism of John McCain or the welfare-state-to-the world sentimentalism of Barack Obama. I don't want my country represented by either a Compassionate Crusader or by Oprah Winfrey in drag. (Possibly in person, too, if the rumors we're hearing about Obama's plans for Ms. Winfrey are true.)

Next, Orson Scott Card:

In the election coming in November, we face the kind of choice that shapes the future of nations. On the one hand, we have an irascible Republican who is wrong as often as he is right, but at least has the courage to act according to his conscience often enough to earn the enmity of party hacks.

On the other hand, we have a candidate who has shown himself to be a complete captive of the intellectual elite, voting their party line in Congress, sneering in private at ordinary citizens that he does not even try to understand, wrapping himself in ersatz victimhood, changing his mind whenever it seems politically prudent while denying that he ever had any other view.

We are at the great political divide, and most Americans -- especially the young, who have been so grossly miseducated by the intellectual elite -- are getting their news from comedians who parrot the slanders of the elitists.

Solzhenitsyn saw what we seem determined to ignore: Power is fleeting, and so is freedom. The "world's only superpower" can only maintain the current world order if it acts with courage and vigor to stop the enemies of freedom and prosperity.

Perhaps the difference comes in whether one believes McCain is a fashionable elitist with an irascible streak or that he's a guy trying to muddle through, often acting with conviction in the wrong direction. If the former, he's a mildly better-than candidate. If the latter, he might be correctable.

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I think McCain is a manof good intentions who sometimes takes a screwed up position-hell,who doesn't on occasion?
Obama is a limousine Marxist who grew up in a very strange milieu,unlike 90% of Americans and certainly not facing the same challenges as Afro-Americans of his age.
He is a very underqualified candidate coasting on perception and little else.
Hillary is a power hungry Madame De Farge with no soul save greedy power demon inside her.
So there you have it.Not aa hard choice to make.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 26, 2008 5:22 PM

Not a hard choice at all.

Stay home, clean your guns and prepare for the impending disaster that is the next four years regardless of which one of these clowns gets in.

Posted by: Greg at August 26, 2008 6:09 PM

American Conservative Union Lifetime Grades:

McCain 82.3%

Obama 8.0%

Add that to a comparison between each man's life experiences and decision-making abilities and this election is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Anthony at August 26, 2008 8:01 PM

Monday, August 25, 2008
Where is John McCain's Missing POW History?
Generally it would be seriously wrong to second guess a prisoner of war's activities in captivity. Normally those activities would, and should, remain something deeply personal and something deeply private for the prisoner. There is, however, an exception. That exception is when a former prisoner of war insists on using his experience as a POW for purely political purposes or for financial gain. When a former prisoner of war does that he voluntarily gives up the privacy of that experience and opens his activities during that time to intense review and speculation.

John McCain insists on using his record as a POW forty some years ago to further his Presidential ambitions. He uses his POW experience in numerous campaign ads and it has become a core part of his political stump speech. Fine, his choice. However, John McCain's blatant use of his time as a POW to further his political ambitions means that the history of that time and that experience is fair game for inspection and review.

Just what did John McCain do as a prisoner of war? In some respects that's hard, if not impossible, to tell. Neither he nor the Pentagon have released his history as a POW. Why is that? Detailed records of John McCain's prisoner of war debrief exist. Other POW debriefs certainly mention John McCain. Surely there were medical and psychological debriefs conducted. Why are they not public and available? The American people have a right to know because these debriefs may have a direct impact on John McCain's ability to serve as President of the United States.

McCain, under the law, can allow a surrogate to review these files. He has consistently refused to do so. And John McCain has championed the laws that seal these records forever. What is he hiding? Why, after forty years, is the complete history of his POW experience still missing?

If John McCain insists on using his POW experience for political purposes he has an obligation to release those records and he should insist that the Pentagon do so immediately.

What we do know, and what John McCain rarely mentions, is that he did break down and sign a confession for the North Vietnamese. This confession was used as propaganda against our troops. Not quite like Jane Fonda (she wasn't tortured) but a propaganda confession none the less. What else did he do during his captivity? The answer to that is something that the American people have a right to know before we go to the polls in November.

Update: Some links of purported interviews with/about John McCain while a prisoner of war in North Vietnam:

1. Fernando Interview
2. Hanoi Propaganda Broadcast
3. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)
4. FBIS Nhan Dan Interview
5. FBIS Cuban Radio Broadcast of Nhan Dan interview
Added URL:


Posted by: CRAVECOFFEE at August 26, 2008 8:04 PM


Posted by: Monique at August 26, 2008 10:13 PM

Cravecoffee, you're a VERY sick person.

But beyond that, you're also just wrong. McCain allowed Newsweek to review his POW records.

Not that he needed to do so.

McCain's POW experiences have been told dozens of times by dozens of his fellow POW's. Ask Colonel Bud Day who was awarded the Medal of Honor and spent 5 and half years being tortured with John McCain.

Yes, McCain promoted the law that ensured POW records could remain private, but he allowed Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff (not exactly a Republican) to review his own personal POW debriefing report.

McCain was awarded the Silver Star. If there was ANYTHING on his official record that was negative, you can bet that it would never have been awarded.

Your drivel is the latest of the anonymous attacks and flat-out lies that started when McCain first ran for president.

It usually comes from three categories: 1.) newly-created "veterans" groups the sprout up only in election years that have no membership and seem to led by anonymous people; 2.) self-described Vietnam vets (many of them whom turned out to have never served in Vietnam) and weren't within 100 miles of the Hanoi Hilton; or 3.) a handful of conspiracy theorists who strongly opposed McCain efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam thinking that John McCain was sent back to the US as a "Machurian Candidate" to help Vietnam.

If I were you, I'd be more concerned about Barack Obama hanging out with admitted terrorists and benefiting from real estate deals with convicted felons. Unlike your unsubstantiated and baseless attacks on John McCain, Obama actually did those things.

In the meantime you might want to take a shower to wash off the slime. And while you're in the bathroom, just take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself "Is this the type of human being that I want to be?"

Posted by: Anthony at August 26, 2008 10:41 PM

Not a hard choice at all.

Stay home, clean your guns and prepare for the impending disaster that is the next four years regardless of which one of these clowns gets in.

To quote James Carville in Old School, "I have no response...that was perfect..."

Posted by: JP at August 27, 2008 8:05 AM

CRAVECOFFEE-your attack on McCain's record as a POW is the lowest form of slander.His survival of five years of torture and imprisonment certainly is germaine to his ability to deal with the kind of adversity he might have to face as President in a volatile world.Having competence to operate under pressure is a very important quality for a Commander in Chief.
Obama's greatest pressure test has probably been deciding what head of arugula to buy at Whole Foods.

Posted by: joe bernstein at August 27, 2008 8:59 AM

At the same time, McCain himself is beginning to cheapen that POW status by using it as a shield to every hard question.

Leno: How many homes do you own?
McCain: Did you know I was a POW?

Posted by: Greg at August 27, 2008 9:13 AM

I'll throw you into the same category as Cravecoffee.

Obama brought up the house issue to suggest that McCain didn't know what it was like to be an "average" American.

McCain's response on Leno was to remind people that he didn't always live in the lap of luxury and that there are more important things in his life than condos.

That doesn't "cheapen" anything POW status. If anything it showed the profound effect the experience had on his life.

In an era where parents want to kick kids of youth baseball teams because they pitch "too fast" and when we teach kids to resent people who are financially successful, it's refreshing to see John McCain talk about the pride he has for his father-in-=law for building a successful business while at the same time remaining grounded.

For the record, McCain's real response was:

"I didn't have a house. I didn't have a kitchen table. I didn't have a table. I didn't have a chair. And I didn't spend those five-and-a-half years because, not because I wanted to get a house when I got out."

Turning to the subject of his wife Cindy's father, whose built her family's fortune, McCain said,

"you know, I'm very proud of Cindy's father. He was a guy that barely got out of high school, fought in W.W. II in the Army Air Corps, came home and made a business, and made the American dream.

Posted by: Anthony at August 28, 2008 12:55 AM

Orson Scott Card is a devout Mormon and a science-fiction writer. He seems to be popular with the generation that He who does not answer questions asked of Him belongs to. I prefer Ursula LeGuin.

John McCain has now surrounded himself with Karl Rove types and richly deserves all smears and attacks coming his way.

Posted by: Phil at August 28, 2008 6:43 AM

Obama brought up the house issue to suggest that McCain didn't know what it was like to be an "average" American.

I realize that Patrick Crowley is currently on a crusade to tell people how many houses they can own, but I think that voters that do not resent success or the American dream do not consider the "7 houses" an issue. The Dems don't even use it as ammunition - they realize that a convention that opens with a Kennedy is probably precluded from dictating how many houses one can own.

In short, the only person perpetuating it as an issue is John McCain.

I won't question McCain's service and I think he's a hero, but bringing a gun to a pillow fight definitely cheapens both. So when he is on an entertainment show addressing the "7houses" by talking about his life as a former POW that married a suga-mama, it does little to portray him as "average" and much to perpetuate him as the angry, old, defensive guy he is rumored to be.

Posted by: JP at August 28, 2008 9:38 AM

I think McCain was well-justified in his response, It was matter-of-fact, truthful and was a necessary response to the thousands of dollars that Obama spent trying to make it an issue.

You don't like Mormons, but have a warm spot for Taoists--got it, thanks.

By the way, I'd take McCain surrounding himself with law-abiding politicos like Karl Rove over Obama surrounding himself with unrepentent terrorists and attempted murderers like Bill Ayers or racists like Jeremiah Wright any day. Call me crazy.

Posted by: Anthony at August 28, 2008 10:02 PM
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