November 2, 2005

A November Smorgasborg

Today I had a couple topics I considered posting about, and after much deliberation, I decided to post them all (albeit briefly). That's right. Four for the price of one!

1. Samuel Alito

During my daily online newsbriefing, I saw this article in the Los Angeles Times that talks about how many Democrats actually like Alito. They say that he is not one of those conservative idealogues who have a particular ideology and when deciding cases, make sure that they do whatever it takes to reach that goal. He considers context and uses reason in arriving at his decisions. He even ruled against some "driving while black" cases. This sure doesn't like the maniac who is on a mission to take the rights of women and minorities away! Or at least the judge that wants me to think he is.

Here's a clip:

"I grew up in New York City, and I'm a political independent. But I liked Judge Alito because he was a judicial conservative, someone who believed in judicial restraint and was committed to textualism," he said. "His approach leads to conservative results in some cases and progressive results in other cases. In my opinion, he is a fantastic jurist and a good guy."

Some of Alito's former Yale Law School classmates who describe themselves as Democrats say they expect they will not always agree with his rulings if he joins the Supreme Court. But they say he is the best they could have hoped for from among Bush's potential nominees.

"Sam is very smart, and he is unquestionably conservative," said Washington lawyer Mark I. Levy, who served in the Justice Department during the Carter and Clinton administrations. "But he is open-minded and fair. And he thinks about cases as a lawyer and a judge. He is really very different from [Justice Antonin] Scalia. If he is going to be like anyone on the court now, it will be John Roberts," the new chief justice.

2. Michael Steele

The more the Democrats hate Michael Steele, the more it makes me like him. And the more I hope he wins. I am very moderate politically, here supporting a Republican for Senate, yet supporting a Democrat (Mark Warner) for president in 2008. (Do people like me still exist?) Anyway, here is an editorial from the Washington Times on the whole hoopla over Steve Gilliard's racist blog posting about Steele.

Here's a clip:
The slurs are unfit for a family newspaper and cannot be reprinted here. But they are the same old sludge Democrats have been throwing at Mr. Steele for years -- attempts to equate Democratic talking points with the black agenda and suggestions that Mr. Steele isn't authentically "black." It's telling that Mr. Gilliard, a black New Yorker whose popular site gets an estimated 15,000 hits a day, is a newcomer to Maryland politics, since that confirms what practically everyone already knows: Mr. Steele unnerves liberals and Democrats everywhere simply by being a black Republican.

This has been going on since before Mr. Steele was elected as Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's running mate. In 2001, Maryland State Senate President Mike Miller Jr. called Mr. Steele "an Uncle Tom."

In what must rank as one of its most shameful moments, the reliably liberal editorial board of the Baltimore Sun wrote during the 2002 gubernatorial campaign that Mr. Steele "brings little to the team but the color of his skin." It has since had to eat those words. Mr. Steele has gone on to be a leading member of Mr. Ehrlich's administration, as the Sun itself acknowledged Thursday in an editorial on Mr. Steele's Senate bid.

The political rabble has shown its ire in ugly racial terms, too. In 2002, during a campaign debate with then-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Steele-bashers threw Oreo cookies at him.

An article entitled 'Party trumps race' for Steele foes, talks about the liberal double standard in politics when it comes to racial issues:

State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

"Party trumps race, especially on the national level," she said. "If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."

Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.

"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."

The article goes on to describe one of the "big" issues that some have with Steele:

Still, Mfume spokesman Joseph P. Trippi said Mr. Steele opens himself to such criticism by defending Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for holding a Republican fundraiser in July at the all-white Elkridge Club in Baltimore.

"The facts are the facts. Ehrlich went to that country club, and Steele said it didn't bother him," Mr. Trippi said. "I think that says something ... and should be part of this debate."

Several club members told the Baltimore Sun that, though blacks are welcome as guests and there is no policy banning blacks from membership, the club never has had a black member in its 127-year history.

Democrats also have used the club for various events, including Peter O'Malley, brother of and adviser to Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, a Democratic candidate for governor. Peter O'Malley held his wedding reception there in 2003.

So it's okay for Democrats to use the same facility but not for Republicans? Or only if a black person joined the country club in Elkridge, it would make it alright for people to hold events there without being called racist? So, let's say that there is a country club somewhere and membership is solely whites and blacks, but no Asians are members. Would it be okay for me to say the members are racist because there are no Asians? I guess it would be okay!

And for all the talk that supposedly Steele was only chosen for his race, how does that figure into the equation for supporters of race based affirmative action? Wouldn't that then be a huge victory for AA supporters? And whoever is left standing after the Martin O'Malley/Doug Duncan battle for the Democratic nomination for governor, I think it is a forgone conclusion that his running mate will be black. So if a Democrat picks a black running mate, it is not racially motivated, but if he marks the box one inch over on his voter registration card and marks (R), it makes it so? I just don't understand.

3. Gene Weingarten

One of my favorite columnists for the Washington Post is, without a doubt, Gene Weingarten. He definitely has made many of those real life observations that once he says them, you see how true they are as they play themselves out over and over again, but before he writes one, you simply don't even think about it.

Here is a great article from last year which is extremely funny and true.
A Course in Wife Sciences: In the game of marriage, there are players, and there are men

4. John Kerry

One of my biggest regrets of 2004 is voting for John Kerry. Although I did hold my nose, close my eyes, and ask for forgiveness when voting for him, whatever respect I did have for him at the time has diminished each and every time I have seen him make a television appearance or read one of his emails.

The latest email sent to his enthusiastic " community" is about his goal to "Help bring 20,000 troops home over the holidays." Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not opposed for troops being reunited with their families. Once they are no longer needed in Iraq, they should be brought home. But while there is stuff for them to do, it would make sense for them to be there to do it.

During his campaign, one of Kerry's pledges was to increase the number of troops on the ground in Iraq because according to all accounts that he heard, more help was needed. President Bush, after all, didn't know how to listen to the officers on the ground and their pleas for help. We were overextending our military, I thought.

But now, here we are with Kerry now saying we need to bring 20,000 troops home. I wish he'd just explain the significance of the number, and why he thought if less than a year ago we needed far more troops, and now we don't, if he wanted to either concede that the troops were making good progress or he was wrong in his initial assessment or if he was simply being Cindy Sheehan's voice in the Senate. With Kerry, you really don't know. It could be all or none of the above.

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