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The official blog of the National Center for Public Policy Research, covering news, current events and public policy from a conservative, free-market and pro-Constitution perspective.

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Our Conservative Future

The New Republic Online is running an interesting daily series by Alan Wirzbicki this week critiquing the Fox News Channel's coverage of the GOP convention. It is interesting because the author -- whom I had not heard of before -- does not seem to be a Fox fan, yet his assessment is mostly positive.

A short sample from the September 1 entry in the series:

...interestingly it's on Fox News, the most Republican-friendly of stations, where the difference between the convention's platform and podium is getting the most critical TV attention.

Fox's anchors have raised the issue early and often. Shepard Smith, one of the channel's talking heads, has been sounding practically like Terry McAuliffe. "Can moderates like a Schwarzenegger really be represented by a platform that is so far to the right?" Smith asked yesterday. "Are you just telling lies in these billion-dollar extravaganzas?" Meanwhile Bill O'Reilly interviewed conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, who complained that the Republican speaker's lineup had a "metrosexual" tilt. Even Sean Hannity was on the case, criticizing the GOP's golden boy of the moment, John McCain, from the right for his campaign finance reform bill. Fox, unlike CNN, was running the quixotic Log Cabin Republican advertisements yesterday, another sign that the network was the place where some version of an internal GOP conversation on touchy, intra-party issues was happening.
My opinion is that Fox's coverage of the convention rightly is picking up on the simple fact that conservatives are very much engaged in policy debates. This is true in D.C. and in state legislatures but also in private conversations, blogs, etc.

I could go on for a bit about why this is so, but I'll spare you. I'll just toss out one theory: Historically, conservatives were out of power for quite a while, and were for most of the 20th Century perceived as the least popular mainstream American ideology (even when the GOP was dominant, by the way). As a result, conservative politics tended to attract only people sincerely interested in conservatism. Who would join a conservative group or party just because it was popular? Just about nobody!

So the GOP, these days, benefits from having a large number of activists and members who truly care about policy. I'm just guessing, but I'll bet there are more people genuinely interested in policy at the GOP convention than were present in Boston. BUT -- and here is a major qualifier -- conservatism isn't unpopular anymore.

So, here comes the big downside: After 20 years pass, what kind of conservative movement/Republican Party will America have? Will it be populated by people who joined because they saw it as the best route to obtaining status and political power, or can the interest in policy somehow be maintained?

History leads me to conclude that the answer won't be pretty. But maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.


Schwarzenegger: Girlie Men

Hmmm, maybe Schwarzenegger didn't mean "girlie men" as a compliment after all...

Based on the response of the GOP convention delegates to his re-use of the phrase in his convention speech Tuesday, the average delegate isn't any more PC than he is.



One for the Steelers Fans Out There

Blogger Captain Ed, blogging at the Republican National Convention, just met Pittsburgh Steelers great Lynn Swann.


Club For Growth Blog

The Club for Growth now has a blog.

I wonder how long it will be before nearly every conservative and free market organization has one?


The Commons at Paulie World

The Commons at Paulie World is a relatively new blog that is really hitting its stride.


John McCain: You Reap What You Sow

An observation by National Center executive director David W. Almasi:

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) isn't happy with the Federal Election Commission's Ellen Weintraub because she appears to be deliberately holding up reform of the unregulated spending of 527 political groups. Due to her footdragging, any chance to closing the loophole in the senator's namesake campaign finance regulations will happen until next year -- after groups such as and Americans Coming Together spend tens of millions of dollars attacking President Bush. Because of this, McCain now calls Weintraub an "apparatchik" of the Democrats.

What a difference a few months makes.

Weintraub, who was nominated to the FEC by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), once counted McCain as her knight in shining armor. When conservatives in 2002 raised concerns about Weintraub's impartiality due to to her law firm's close ties to partisan campaign committees and her marriage to Senator Russell Feingold's legislative director, McCain put a hold on ALL Bush Administration nominations until she got a recess appointment.


Just Call Them Untermenschen

A Reuters editor expresses anger that some people want to allow conceived children to be born.

Among other things, he says of children he believes should be aborted: "Who will pay for policing our streets & maintaining the prisons needed to contain them...?"

Addendum: David O'Gwynn slices through this story on the Sparse Matrix Politics blog. It's harsh, but so is the subject matter.

Addendum 2: JunkYardBlog comments on the Reuters story from his perspective as a former radio news editor.

Addendum 3: Stop the Bleating! says: Why stop there? If human welfare is not a concern, we can save even more money by eliminating all social programs.


Giving Birth: Doubly Life-Giving?

Women who have been through pregnancy tend to say pregnancy is not always easy, but that it is very much worth it for the child's sake.

Turns out to be doubly worth it: According to new research in the Journal of the American Medical Asociation, giving birth might someday save Mom's life.


The Olympics: I'd Rather Sort Socks

Jack Rich has a good post up on the Olympics, which brings to my mind a pet peeve about them from the other night.

Husband David watched a lot of Olympic coverage, while I hadn't watched any. One evening, he told me I just had to watch one race. I didn't really want to, because the laundry needed doing, but I figured "how long can one race last"?

Turns out, quite a while, because the officials couldn't start it. Too much booing from the crowd for the starter sound to be audible. Booing of Americans, it seems. Unlike the whiners Jack Rich blogged about, these booers apparently weren't upset that we led the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq. No, these -- to borrow Jack's term -- idiots and ingrates were mad at Americans because some Greek dofus failed to show up for a drug test and was disqualified from the race. Following the world's standard rule: Whenever anything goes wrong, Blame America First, the crowd was booing the American runners who had showed up for their drug tests.

Apparently, the purpose of the Olympics is to cause friction between nations. It was starting to make me hate Greeks (and just when I was starting to forgive them for adoring the anti-American demagogue Andreas Papandreou and their insistence on maintaining poor airport security, leading to incidents such as the hijacking of TWA 847 and the murder of the young American sailor Robert Stethem), so I went back to doing the laundry.


Conservative Jerks 

Don't know whether to be insulted or flattered. Someone stuck the search term "conservative jerks" into Google, and this blog ranked #2.

Addendum: Now this blog ranks #1... I guess I shouldn't have said anything.


Chris Lightfoot's Political Survey

ProfessorBainbridge has posted his results for Chris Lightfoot's Political Survey. I took it, too, with similiar results. He posts a link for those who want to try it for themselves.


Purple Heart Quiz

Just for fun, husband David sent over a quiz.

Who was awarded the largest number of purple hearts?

A. John McCain, whose injuries were so severe that four years after his release from the Hanoi Hilton he was prevented from receiving a sea command.

B. Former Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost an arm during World War II.

C. Former Senator Bob Dole, who lost the use of his right arm and spent three years in military hospitals.

D. Former Senator Max Cleland, who lost two legs and an arm during the Vietnam war after a grenade went off in his hand.

E. Senator John Kerry.

Answer: John Kerry. Kerry received three; Bob Dole, two; Daniel Inouye, one; John McCain, one and Max Cleland, zero.


Bush's Europe Policy

Husband David has a letter published in the Washington Post today.

It was written in response to this Post op-ed by Ronald D. Asmus beginning:

Harry Truman must be turning over in his grave.

The planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe and Asia that President Bush announced this week, if allowed to stand, could lead to the demise of the United States' key alliances across the globe, including the one that Truman considered his greatest foreign policy accomplishment: NATO...


"The Only Answer That Could Have Saved Her..."

Always-thoughtful blogger Jack Rich has another worthy essay on his life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness blog, this time a reasoned rebuttal to the bumper sticker slogan "War is Not the Answer."

Jack's blog is one of the best out there. I read everything he posts.


We Might As Well Just Invite in the Visigoths

A friend drew our attention this evening to this Washington Post story in which an AFL-CIO leader gives this advice to Pentagon employees who are union members:

Our job is to be the irritant, piss ant stinging them on their ankles at every opportunity.
In your workplace, be creative, be disruptive, be a royal pain in the [expletive]!!
This is the kind of thinking that makes me believe that the only good labor union is an extinct one.

Why are any employees at the Pentagon unionized, anyway? The entire notion is pathetic.

We might as well just invite in the Visigoths and save the trouble of a battle.


Blogger's New Feature

Readers will notice a new feature on this blog -- the opportunity to e-mail the url of any blog post you especially like (or dislike) to a friend. To use this feature, click on the little envelope with an arrow on it. Your friend will receive the url of the post you have selected, but will not receive the full text. You can add a short message to the e-mail if you wish.



Blogger and Project 21 member La Shawn Barber has some blunt words for a few NBA All Stars who apparently have more courage on the court than they do in real life.


Tommy Franks on "Vampire Press"

Tommy Franks takes on TV military pundits in this Redhunter post.



Maybe I'm the last one to notice, but just in case I'm not, Google News now has a bar at the top permitting users to access the top stories from ten nations.

I just tried all ten. Interestingly, updates in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was the Google News Overall #1 story just now for two nations (and only two nations): France and Germany.

Gloating, are we?


David Broder's Harsh Assessment

David Broder opines today that "the only thing that will save the country" is that the baby boomers eventually will die off.