Wednesday, December 03, 2008

More Post-election GOP Anguish

One great rant from one of conservative journalism's best

P.J. O'Rourke tells the national GOP exactly "What's Up" in last week's most excellent Weekly Standard article:
We Blew It - A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered
We suppose we'd label it "tough love" from one of the most talented conservative journalists in the webosphere. Read it and don't get your feelings hurt, snake handling southern evangelicals and right wing socialist neoCONS.


Machster said...

This article is right on!

Thanks for posting it.

Curmudgeon said...

Oh, my. Poor PJ. Still can't get it right. He wrote: Nobody with kids is a liberal, except maybe one pothead in Marin County. Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns. (The last is optional....).

PJ, my man, people who want their children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, and have opportunities are liberals. That, PJ, is what makes them liberals, along with the belief that most want the very same things for their children as well.

Like Rudi, PJ, you're a closet liberal. You just don't know it, or are afraid [as you gaze upon the wreckage conservative government has visited upon the land and all those ordinary Americans you claim to respect so much] to admit it. It's time to come out, PJ. Long past time.

Take the plunge. Cross over. Admit your liberalism. It's the first step to recovery. [When you're ready, let me know. I can get you past the pickets safely into Democratic lines before Dubya, Chaney, Laffer and Orin Hatch figure out you're missing. I know people. I can get you the password of the day. Just give me a call. ]

Machster said...

"There's a joke in Arkansas about a candidate hustling votes in the country. The candidate asks a farmer how many children he has.

"I've got six sons," the farmer says.

"Are they all good little Democrats?" the candidate asks.

"Well," the farmer says, "five of 'em are. But my oldest boy, he got to readin'  .  .  .  "

So Curm, think ya got it all backwards. Look at San Francisco, a city of freaks, or so the citizens say. Now there is liberalism that scares us.
You maybe need ta jest keep on read'n? Maybe you will come out of the closet.

Or maybe you jest need to keep on a read'in...

Fafiki said...

I have to agree with Curm on this one. Most people I meet are liberal. Isn't the word Liberal closly alike the word Liberty.

I've never met anyone who didn't love liberty.

Bill C. said...

I'm sad to announce that we've lost another great American. Yesterday, in New York the lovely, gracefull, courageous and inspiring Odetta passed away. She will be missed, in our greedy me first society we sorely could use more like her.

G.O.P. OUT DO THIS said...

Where in the scriptures does it say conservative? I have read in James that it does say liberal though.
Maybe, just maybe, God is, just as such.

watching it happen said...

I like that the paper is beating up on the republicans. after all they can't beat up on the democrats. After all there is only one and that is Rep. Hansen and he does things that are above all that reproach.

Curmudgeon said...


Funny thing, Machster. We told the same joke down in Louisiana. Only the farmer's kids were all Republicans, except the one that learned to read....

Machster said...


It is as I expected. But Lousiana with its multi ethnic (Cajins, Creoles, blacks, "rednecks", "redbones", "swamprats", "river-rats", "carpetbaggers from New Jersey and elsewhere") have long tried to steal from its neighbors. In this case even an Irish American (P. J. O'Rourke) from ? where the NE?... recognized the source of the joke and the proper telling of it...

For any reading this, please understand the whole context between Curm and me is purely "tounge-in-cheek" and meant only to entertain. e.g. not serious.

Curmudgeon said...

Ah, Machster... permit me to note, ever so gently, that Arkansas went, last election, Republican. By a substantial margin. Which for "fair and balanced" observers [like me] makes pretty clear the party registration of its non-reading majority .... [grin].

But its a measure of how low the nation's prospects have fallen these days, that a card-carrying rightie and a card-carrying leftie are feudin' about which side should have to claim "credit" for Arkansas....

Machster said...


The one thing I love most about being actually from Arkansas is..."it makes you appreciate just about every other State in the Union."

"Possible exceptions" are Utah, Lousiana, California, Washington, Vermont, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Oh, and I almost as an Independent (from being a
Democrat). No offense but Harry ("You can literally SMELL the people coming to see the Capital.") Reid. And Nancy ("Proud Calif. San Francisco District Senator) Pelosi.

Here's is hoping Obama will face these clowns down saying; "I inspired the Country to a vote of confidence. NOT you two clowns. So take a hike with your far left agendas. I will decide any issues based upon what is best for our Country without regard for any political agendas." Actually, dare I say it...I am praying he does.

(grin back)

Rafiki said...

I am a bit disappointed in Obama already. How does putting a Clinton in a drivers seat resemble anything associated with the idea of Change?

I suppose it is politics as usual and all these "new voters" are getting a big dose of political reality.


g. smith said...

Conservatives like me worked so hard to try to get Goldwater nominated for president in 1964 and then we did get Ronald Reagan not only nominated but elected.

And now George Dubya is responsible for destroying Republican conservatism.

No wonder Laura Bush was operated on for a perforated ulcer this week.

Machster said...


I think lots of folks will and already have a problem with the direction in which Obama seems headed, e.g. "nominating" a more centrist Natl. Security Advisory group than the "W" admin. And an Attorney Gen., Eric Holder, with some very interesting positions/judgments while Acting AG when Reno resigned under Clinton.
(1) Mark Rich Pardon. Holder waffled, saying he was "neutral" leaning toward "favorable" on the pardon. Rich, as you might recall, was a felon, living in exile to avoid prosecution on multiple counts of tax evasion, fraud, and illegal oil deals. He funneled cash through his wife to the Clintons for Clinton's library and campaigns, in apparent exchange for a bought and paid for "Pardon".
(2) As acting AG, Holder supported a forceable return of Elian Gonzales back to Cuba. Elain was ten yrs. old at the time, I think.
(3) Holder also supported "clemency" for the FALN, a Puerto Rican terriorist group.
(4) Again, while acting AG, Holden cowtowed to the Clinton admin by refusing to assign a special prosecutor to investigate the 1996 illegal fund raising being done by the democrats and the Clintons. This, while he supported prosecution of some of "selected" people who violated the law...

Does this man have the fortitude to stand on principles? Doesn't seem like it, based upon his actions while in the AG office before. Will he be another political lap dog (As some suggest he has already shown he is...).

Will any have the fortitude to question him during the confirmation process? Or will our gutless brethern in Congress remain firmly seated upon their petards. (thanks J.D. for the word)

But, Rafiki, regarding Obama doubt... it is like when we got a questionable new squadron commander, who made early mistakes. The "shit-hot" guys pressed on anyway, just doing the right things. And if, after about three months, the new Commander continued to screw up, then and only then did we begin to question his competance and authority.

In view of the above, and given the relative importance differences,...I figure we all (both political persuasions and all good citizens) should give President Elect and Commander in Chief Obama a year in his new and unfamilar moccasins. And then, should he and his administration prove unworthy, using ONLY the political process, begin to make different arrangements/choices at the polls in 2012.

Rafiki said...

Ya, I agree he gets four years and I shouldn't be so negative out of the gate.


Curmudgeon said...


You're from Arkansas? If so, a belated thanks from me. For the 30 years I lived in Louisiana, about every other year, the local paper ran a "thank heaven for Arkansas" editorial every time the national ranking of states on education came out. We were always 49th, with Arkansas or Mississippi alternating for 50th beneath us. So on behalf of an entire generation of Louisianans, thank you!

As for Obama and disappointments and criticism: worth pointing out, I think, that the man is not yet President of the United States. We ought, as you suggest, at least let him take the oath of office, before rounding on him, and to give him some time to make decisions in office... and I'd say some time to see how they play out... before calling out a political lynch mob.

Part of the problem, M, I think is our 24/7 news cycle. The punditry [what George Will likes to call "the chattering classes"] have the attention span of a two year old. And all the endless weeks of chattering and speculation and navel contemplation about who Obama would pick as Secretary of State became instantly moot when he made his decision.

And they seem convinced that every day's news is "momentous" and of "historic importance." Some is. Much isn't. Someone says "X" at a morning presser, and by six that night, they're doing panels on "the long term impact of what his saying X this morning" and on "how will his statement affect his re-election chances in 2012?" Best example: I saw polls not only reported last night, but discussed at length, indicating that 24% of Republicans want Gov. Palin to run for the presidency in 2012. Before Obama has taken the oath in 2009, and with absolutely no knowledge of how he will do and what will transpire over the next four years, or what the major problem facing the nation will be come next election.

I know, I know, they have to fill so damn many on-air hours every day, but it's gotten downright ridiculous. From the left, the right and the center. For hours on end, Fox, MSNBC, CNN and the rest parse pauses and debate the significance of raised eyebrows and cleared throats.

As for Ms. Clinton as Secretary of State: someone asked why Obama would put her in "the driver's seat." Well, she isn't "in the driver's seat." He is. Her job will be to implement President Obama's foreign policy, and to advise him on what that policy ought to be, and how to make it effective. If she does that well, she will have been a good choice. If not, she won't be there long. We'll have to see.

Someday, maybe, we'll get to see senators and congressmen... and even talk show hosts... say on air with some frequency when asked a question: "I don't know. We'll have to see how it plays out." I'm not holding my breath.

Machster said...


Mayor Ray Nagin, New Orleans, Katrina. Education?

As a politically astute semi- retired professor and 30 year resident of the great State of Lousiana, consider this a test.

1. What famous Lousiana politician made the following quotes?

"If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag."
"Of course we will have fascism in America but we will call it democracy!"
"Someday Louisiana's gonna get good government and they're not gonna like it."
"Every man a king, but no one wears a crown."
"People say I steal. Well, all politicians steal. I steal. But a lot of what I stole has spilled over in no-toll bridges, hospitals . . . and to build this university." -- speech at Louisiana State University
"There is no rule so sure as that one that the same mill that grinds out fortunes above a certain size at the top, grinds out paupers at the bottom." -- speech in U.S. Senate April 4,
"The only difference I ever found between the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership is that one of them is skinning you from the ankle up and the other, from the ear down."
"Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy."
“I can frighten or buy ninety-nine out of every one hundred men.”
"Sure I carry a gun. Sometimes I carry four. Can't tell when somebody's going to shoot the King."
"I would describe a demagogue as a politician who don't keep his promises. On that basis, I'm the first man to have power in Louisiana who ain't a demagogue. I kept every promise I ever made to the people of Louisiana. None of these exes and belly-achers that have been fighting me down there ever kept his promises when he was in office. It was an unheard of thing in Louisiana until Huey P. Long got in."
Regarding the imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, "Quote me as saying that that Imperial bastard will never set foot in Louisiana, and that when I call him a sonofabitch I am not using profanity, but am referring to the circumstances of his birth."
To Governor Oscar K. Allen: “Goddamn you Oscar, don’t you stall around with me! I can break you as easily as I made you!”
“I’m for the poor man – all poor men, black and white, they all gotta have a chance.”
“Don’t say I’m working for niggers. I’m not … ‘Every Man a King’ means every man, niggers along with the rest, but not especially for niggers.”
“There is no dictatorship in Louisiana. There is a perfect democracy there, and when you have a perfect democracy it is pretty hard to tell it from a dictatorship.”
After rejecting a naval appropriations bill in the Senate: “I would prefer to vote this billion dollars to feed the starving rather than for more battleships to kill somebody.”
Criticizing the limitations of Roosevelt’s New Deal: “Not a single thin dime of concentrated, bloated, pompous wealth, massed in the hands of a few people, has been raked down to relieve the masses.”
In response to being compared to Adolf Hitler: "Don't liken me to that sonofabitch. Anybody that lets his public policies be mixed up with religious prejudice is a plain God-damned fool!"
___ often compared the Democratic and Republican parties to “High Popalorum and Low Popahirum,” two patent medicines with different labels but identical ingredients.
His last words were reportedly, "God, don't let me die. I have so much left to do."

2. Within an 80 miles radius of Santa Barbara, CA there are approximately 83 churches. Within 80 miles of Monroe, LA., there are approximately _____ separate churches.

3. How could anyone live in an area surrounded by such fabulous food and not come away weighing 875 lbs., and with heart problems?

4. Instead of expresso huts scattered about most of Washington State, what does Lousiana have instead?

5. Why does LSU "Tiger" football begin the season ranked in the top five nationally. Yet every year end its season losing to the lowly, bottom of the SEC West, Arkansas Razorbacks?

1. Huey P. Long, Governor of Lousiana 1928-32, and US Senator 1932-35 (when he was assassinated).
2. Approximately 473!
3. Sew one's mouth shut.
4. Fried everything (and I mean EVERYTHING!), and drive through "Cocktail" huts.
5. See answers to #3. and #4. above. Plus LSU hires "Yankee Carpetbagger" coaches and professors who just "ain't tough enough".

I am seriously considering moving to Lousiana. I loved the people I worked with for a month in the "Poverty Belt" NELA. Never dull ...always interesting folks, from the Les Miserables to the still shyster Sheriffs and politicians. Always entertaining, yet petifoggers, from City Council to the Governor's office and legislators I worked with during Katrina/Rita, as a Red Cross volunteer. Also the months afterward interviewing extensively.

Thirty (30) year resident or not, face it, you were still a Carpetbagger. albiet a beloved one.

Native Arkansan, U of A Fayetteville, alumni

Curmudgeon said...


Reading Huey quotes is always fun... even when Huey didn't say them, as he did not say these: "If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag." "Of course we will have fascism in America but we will call it democracy!" No evidence that he ever uttered either one. Urban legends, both.

But the rest are from him.

I had to smile at this one: "People say I steal. Well, all politicians steal. I steal. But a lot of what I stole has spilled over in no-toll bridges, hospitals . . . and to build this university." -- speech at Louisiana State University"

The very first year I taught at LSU, I taught a special night course for... well, we called them "old folks" back then, not "non traditional students." Mostly empty nesters who were coming to college now for themselves, just a course or two at a time. I called them my "grandma brigade." Great students, and all of them had lived through Huey [this was 38 years ago] and had stories to tell.

One of my grandmas had heard another faculty member [anti-Longite] denounce Huey as a crook. She told me "we all knew Huey was a crook. But at least some of what he stole came down to us, the little people. Like the free school books for children for the first time ever. When those other bastards were in, they stole as much or more, and none of it came down to us."

And yes, that sweet little old lady, who could have modeled for the Betty Crocker ads, actually said "those other bastards."

As for being a carpetbagger.... T. Harry Williams [who won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Huey while at LSU] was introduced at a party once to some locals at "Professor T. Harry Williams of LSU." Blank looks from the locals. "He wrote that prize winning biography of Huey Long." Still blank looks. Then the host figured it out: "He married the Maxwell's daughter." Instant understanding and smiles from the people he was being introduced to. Now they knew who he was: the Yankeee who married the Maxwell girl.

I found my wife in Louisiana too. Whenever I was called a Yankee or Carpetbagger, I'd just explain my marriage by saying "Well, the conquerors always get the women." Not very PC, I know, and it annoyed the bejesus out of my wife. Still does. So of course I use it every chance I get.

Machster said...

Always get the women eh? How bout this one?

"The uncontrolled clamoring and my headache continued until suddenly this strange person literally burst into the large conference room with some others close behind her. In her mid fifties, she had on a black skirt, dark blouse, and black thinly weighted jacket…to hide her over weight condition no doubt. Atop her dark medium length hair sat a broad brimmed black straw hat with a large hat-band and the words “MASH BASH” written on front. She sort of rolled into the room unannounced carrying red and white pom-poms. That is right! Cheerleader pom-poms! With one in each hand she suddenly burst into “TWO BITS! FOUR BITS! SIX Bits a dollar. ALL for the RED CROSS STAND UP AND HOLLAR!”

Stunned, a couple around the table nervously began to stand or said “Yea” or something, but we mostly sat in silence and utter amazement.

“Let me introduce myself, I am Anne Patten, Executive Director of the Northeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross. This is my building and this is my Chapter. I am over eleven Parishes here in North Louisiana and I just want you all to know that I am just so very happy to see ya’ll. Let me tell yawl something. I have been up every night for almost a week now with this disaster and I will never go to bed or get any sleep while this is going on, but I want to tell you that I have received help from tha LORD. Tha Lord is my strength and my guidance, and I just want you to know that the Lord will see me through all this, just like He has ALWAYS seen me through.

A stranger yet… little toad of a man, named Ed Zack, was cringing across the table from me. Zack was wearing a red bandana around his neck…or what little there was of a neck. He turned as if his head was fused to his frame and said, “THAT’s inappropriate.”

With Anne standing almost behind him now, Anne looked a little dazed and said,
What’s that? (Drawing out the word “that” like in the South where it becomes "tha-yaaat".) This was an early clue to a problem which developed over time. Who is in charge? National Red Cross or the local Red Cross “Chapter vs. National Red Cross”.

Ed Zack had won the stage now. He like the other 143 of the 273 National RC Disaster Relief volunteers were "on RC paid vacation mostly" for a week or two from California, due to incredibly bad management from the California Chapters.

“That is totally inappropriate! The Red Cross is a secular organization. And what you just said is totally out of line…”

Anne Patten was shaken, but for a mere moment, and scowled down at the back of ole Zack’s neckless head. Undaunted, she decided to just continue as if Ed Zack, and his comment, did not exist. I could almost see her nose rise slightly with indignation. She continued, “And I just want you all to know that I am here for you. I am here to assist you in any way I can. And my staff here is also here to help you. How many of you have a place to stay? (Only one or two raised their hand slightly…Leon was one.) I have my people working on getting everyone of you a decent hotel room and by the time this meeting is over I want you to come back and we will have you assigned rooms”. She continued, but Jean Siler was upset and upstaged and began yelling for attention. Anne Patton decided she had won the day and retreated into the recesses of wood paneled offices, out of sight.

We were all now sitting around with our faces hanging out thinking so what’s next, a juggling act, a dog and pony show? The place was silent except for an ant fart barely audible from the corner.

The woman was a Daughter of the American Revolution, and classic deep South debutant...all heart, little brains, well educated...but only in Lousiana.



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