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We Blew It
Weekly Standard ^ | 11/17/2008, Volume 014, Issue 09 | P. J O'Rourke

Posted on 11/10/2008 9:22:10 PM PST by gracie1

Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy.

An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected. And where is the world we promised these children of the Conservative Age? Where is this land of freedom and responsibility, knowledge, opportunity, accomplishment, honor, truth, trust, and one boring hour each week spent in itchy clothes at church, synagogue, or mosque? It lies in ruins at our feet, as well it might, since we ourselves kicked the shining city upon a hill into dust and rubble. The progeny of the Reagan Revolution will live instead in the universe that revolves around Hyde Park.

Mind you, they won't live in Hyde Park. Those leafy precincts will be reserved for the micromanagers and macro-apparatchiks of liberalism--for Secretary of the Department of Peace Bill Ayers and Secretary of the Department of Fairness Bernardine Dohrn. The formerly independent citizens of our previously self-governed nation will live, as I said, around Hyde Park. They will make what homes they can in the physical, ethical, and intellectual slums of the South Side of Chicago.

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 110th; 16yearcycle; bho2008; bush; conservatism; election2008; pjorourke; reaganrevolution
As only PJ can put it.
1 posted on 11/10/2008 9:22:11 PM PST by gracie1
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To: gracie1
He's right, because we haven't elected conservatives with the courage of their convictions.

It's easy to sit here at a computer and say "Cut the budget, cut out all these social programs that don't work," etc. etc. It's difficult to get up there in front of cameras and democrat weepers and explain why these positions are the humane, correct ones for this particular country.

It's so much easier, once one goes to D.C., to buckle, to appear "compassionate", to spend money "helping" people.

To be blunt, we need someone who's a little less pop-star and a lot more intellectual. When someone as smart as Newt Gingrich shakes hands with Bill Clinton and pals around with Hillary, we need someone who has the guts to say "You two are perfect examples of what's wrong with our political class."

We need someone who can explain why conservative principles are the right ones for this country and BELIEVE that.

2 posted on 11/10/2008 9:26:28 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (1-22-13)
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To: gracie1
Coming soon to the USA...


3 posted on 11/10/2008 9:28:57 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: gracie1

Look, I just read the first sentence and I just got the feeling like many of us are approaching this as the liberals do. Like the people are the problem and we have to fix them to make them do what we want.

If anything we have failed to make our case for conservatism, not necessarily any one specific problem. Not actually trying to engage one on one with people in dialogue about why a conservative world view is superior to a liberal worldview. And do it in a way that isn’t automatically putting the person on the defensive.

Just to start getting them thinking, and questioning why they believe what they believe and why. And maybe giving them something to think about that’s a better way for them to go. It’s not only about pointing out liberalism’s flaws, but the benefits of the conservative worldview.

And perhaps they are getting mixed messages about us because we’ve got RINOs and liberal republicans who don’t seem to be on board with the conservative world view we promote.


4 posted on 11/10/2008 9:29:45 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: gracie1

Any word on how PJ’s health is? We definately are going to need him around during these dark years.


5 posted on 11/10/2008 9:30:14 PM PST by dfwgator (I hate Illinois Marxists)
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To: Darkwolf377
We need someone who can explain why conservative principles are the right ones for this country and BELIEVE that.

Yes...no matter how conservative and stalwart our champion is against the pressures to pander, he must also be able to communicate the need to remain true to conservatism.

6 posted on 11/10/2008 9:30:33 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: gracie1

For another view, which I like better:

http://www.redstate.com/diaries/jph/2008/nov/09/hey-republicans-when-you-figure-out-a-media/

Hey, Republicans When You Figure Out A Media Strategy, Call Me; Untill Then, So Long.

No, It’s not a “Goodbye Cruel World” diary.

Posted by: JPH

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 08:11PM CST

The pundits on our side (the conservative side) are outdoing each other, attempting to pin the tail on how the donkey resoundingly stomped all over the elephant these past two election cycles. They are missing the huge forest for the minor trees.

For every supposed Republican wrongdoing, there is a Democratic sin of equal or greater proportion. You say too far to the right, I say too far to the left. You say culture war doesn’t work, I say ballot measures prove otherwise. You say 27% approval of Bush, I say 9% approval of Pelosi and Reid. You say Duke Cunningham, I say William Jefferson. You say Jack Abramoff, I say Tony Rezko. You say Mark Foley, I say John Edwards and Tim Mahoney. You say Iraq war, I say Iraq war is an obvious success. You say Enron, I say Fannie & Freddie. You say bungled Katrina response, I say bungled Wall St. response. You say Karl Rove, I say David Axlerod. You say Sarah Palin, I say Barack Obama. Etc. etc.

So why did we lose? Why do we get hit, time and time again, while the Democrats emerge smelling like roses? Simple, the same reason the New York Giants would never win a game if they started off down 21-0. No matter how strong our ideas, how principled our leaders, how corrupt and incompetent our opponents, we will continue to lose (or eke out miserly, temporary wins) as long as we don’t figure out how to deal with the media.

Let me repeat myself; we lost in 2006 and this year BECAUSE OF THE MEDIA. Are we perfect? No. Did we stray from the conservative path? Absolutely. Do we need leadership? Definitely. But that is not why we lost and will continue to lose in the near future. I have no doubt that with all our flaws, were the media fair and balanced, the center-right makeup of this country would still be reflected in the makeup of our elected representatives in Washington DC. That it isn’t is a direct result of the media and the media alone. As touched on above, there is no fault attributed to us that cannot be thrown right back in the liberals/Democrats faces by a fair referee. But the media is not fair and has never been. Thus, the media creation known as Barack Obama was made possible directly on top of the the media-created foundation of a “ruined and disastrous” Bush presidency.

Rush Limbaugh is an amazing talent and the most influential conservative alive. But there is one area where he is gravely mistaken. The mainstream media, while shrinking in size and under financial siege, is not losing as much influence as he believes. That is because it still has a lock on two important media objectives: Access and Credibility.

Access: Professional conservative media types spend their time immersed in a sea of news/politics. While they realize the difference between junkies like themselves and your average Joe, they fail to grasp the enormity of that difference. Your average person is extremely busy and overworked. They spend their time trying to take care of themselves and their families, whatever time left over is used mainly for personal activities and R & R. Their interest in news is relegated to headlines and sound bites. Here is where the MSM really shines. Every time average Joe opens his Yahoo email, his Google homepage or MSN portal, he’s accosted by AP/Reuters news headlines, featuring the MSM message. He turns on his radio to listen to some music, traffic & weather, or even to Rush, he gets the headline news, often multiple times an hour. He’s watching his favorite comedy and the commercials feature snippets from the upcoming news program. So every American, from the most disinterested to the most conservative, is under the constant barrage of MSM/Democrat talking points. And as both Lenin and Geobbels have said, if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

A case in point: Even conservatives, who honestly believe President Bush to be a decent man and a good president, will hesitate to say so in public for fear of being laughed out of the room. After all, “everybody knows”, he’s the worst president since Hoover, maybe of all time. This is the crux of the matter. The media has retained their ability to create the conventional wisdom, the “everybody knows” factor, which once created, assumes a life of its own. Marketing professionals would kill for a fraction of the access the MSM has in the lives of Americans on a daily basis.

So while many people are turning to alternative media sources, the media has not lost its ability to drum into our heads whatever it wants, nonstop, and as Evan Thomas once said, that power is worth at least 10-15% on Election Day.

Credibility: The rise of the alternative media has been phenomenal and explosive, but without one key component: credibility. Fair or not (not), the public still accepts everything the MSM peddles as true, while being naturally suspicious of information picked up over the internet, even if from reliable, established sources. It is enough to quote a MSM source to establish the bona fides of a story, while an alternative media report, heavily investigated and sourced, does not get its legs until being declared kosher by at least one MSM rabbi. This is an undeniable fact, as evidenced by the McCain campaign, which moments after ripping the NYT as “150% in the tank for Obama”, proceeded to quote the Times in an ad attacking him.

Access and credibility are a lethal combination when it comes to elections. Obama’s $600 million is chump change in comparison. Were elections about specific issues, conservatives would perpetually have the upper hand. Americans know what they want when asked specifically; Tuesday’s ballot initiatives prove that. Electing politicians and parties is much trickier. If the MSM can get away with saying left is right and blue is red day in and day out, out ability to get our message out is almost completely destroyed. We end up finding ourselves in an endless battle defending against the latest MSM Known Fact ™.

I for one, am tired of it. Not of the media, but rather of our side. I’m tired of conservative pundits and politicians who, while constantly complaining about media bias, refuse to do anything about it. They continue to go on the same shows, talk to the same reporters, smile at the camera while the MSM stabs them in the back. I’m tired of conservatives giving liberals a finger in the hopes of saving the hand, which never works. We’ll give them, Gingrich, Delay, Lott, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Estrada, Rogers-Brown etc. The result? A Reid & Pelosi congress. Okay, we’ll throw Bush & Cheney under the bus; let’s just focus on conservative issues. The direct result? President-elect Obama.

Liberals however, have no such constraints. Make their life a bit difficult and they’ll throw you......(more)


7 posted on 11/10/2008 9:32:31 PM PST by roses of sharon (The MSM vampires must die.)
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To: gracie1

Yep.


8 posted on 11/10/2008 9:33:38 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham ("The land of the Free...Because of the Brave")
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To: gracie1

You can lay our conservative demise at the feet of the elite rino types.Some from the weekly standard for sure.I, for one ,will not go quitely into this good night.


9 posted on 11/10/2008 9:34:09 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Defeat liberalism, its the right thing to do for America.)
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To: gracie1

Kudos to PJ!

I don’t even feel like an American any more because America has become nothing but a land mass populated by too many people who have no respect whatsoever for our military and who sit around with their hands out waiting for big government to confiscate money from their neighbors and hand it over to them.

That’s an America not worth defending.
So now it’s every man for himself.


10 posted on 11/10/2008 9:34:25 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Darkwolf377

Liberalism is easy. Conservatism is more nuanced.

I have no doubt Americans would be better off with a truly conservative government, but getting majorities to see the same thing is problematic. This is a generation that wants everything now, and they aren’t willing to forgo immediate gratification for some distant, greater good.

We are reaching the point where people who are dependent on government largess outnumber those who produce. Yes, we can actually kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. We are close to that now.


11 posted on 11/10/2008 9:35:27 PM PST by CitizenUSA (Voted proudly for GOVERNOR Palin for VP (but not so sad that RINO McCain lost)!)
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To: Secret Agent Man

I recommend you read the entire article.


12 posted on 11/10/2008 9:36:32 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: dfwgator

I haven’t heard anything since his announcement...have you?


13 posted on 11/10/2008 9:36:56 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Lancey Howard
That’s an America not worth defending. So now it’s every man for himself.

But before that, let's gather our military with us, let's do them proud and fight for them if no one else. I'll gladly join that resistance.

14 posted on 11/10/2008 9:37:58 PM PST by brushcop (We remember SSG Harrison Brown, PVT Andrew Simmons B CO 2/69 3ID KIA Iraq OIF IV)
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To: gracie1
An entire generation has been born, grown up, and had families of its own since Ronald Reagan was elected.

That's the point... almost 2 generations. And we had 2 generational elections since (1992 - Clinton, 2008 - Obama). Democrats understand that and every 16 years run "a JFK", someone who is relatively young, glib, unqualified and "charismatic".

1960 - JFK
1976 - Jimmy Carter
1992 - Bill Clinton
2008 - Barack Obama

How do Republicans respond? They run someone whose turn has come and/or whom the media find least objectionable - "a Bob Dole", someone who is relatively old, inarticulate or unappealing.

1960 - Richard Nixon
1976 - Gerald Ford
1992 - George H.W. Bush 41
2008 - John McCain

C'est la vie.

15 posted on 11/10/2008 9:37:59 PM PST by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: gracie1

A rant for the ages.


16 posted on 11/10/2008 9:38:53 PM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours.)
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To: gracie1

Man is that a stemwinder of an article!


17 posted on 11/10/2008 9:39:40 PM PST by americanophile
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To: gracie1
This is pretty defeatist. If, as it appears, 0bama has been attempting mass hypnosis in his campaign speeches, is not a qualified US citizen to be president, and has been accepting millions in illegal donations, conservatives have to keep hammering relentlessly on these issues (among others) until the MSM and people in general take notice.

The 'Rats are leading the US into a one party state. It is up to Republicans to put the US on notice that this is against what the US, human rights and freedom is about.

18 posted on 11/10/2008 9:40:07 PM PST by Post Toasties (It's not a smear if it's true.)
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To: gracie1

Pretty remarkable,and so long I figure it must take up half the issue of the Weekly Standard. O’Rourke is our Mark Steyn. Mark Steyn is our O’Rourke. Depending on who you discovered first, or where you’re from.


19 posted on 11/10/2008 9:42:02 PM PST by supremedoctrine
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To: gracie1

I voted. 20% of us did not.


20 posted on 11/10/2008 9:44:37 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: gracie1

for tomorrow


21 posted on 11/10/2008 9:45:08 PM PST by goodnesswins (CONSERVATIVES....saving America's A** whether you like it or not!)
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Oh pish-posh boyos. Everytime we loose, it’s the long knives, booze shots and woe-is-me mantras. Tell you what, take some time off and enjoy the holidays. The crap ain’t leaving...it’s still gonna be there when you recharge your batteries on Jan 2.

Listen to the “Vote Reaper”...you’ll find him quite entertaining.

Afterwhich, the GOP needs a “Council of Trent”.


22 posted on 11/10/2008 9:48:24 PM PST by curling
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To: CitizenUSA
Liberalism is easy. Conservatism is more nuanced.

Yep, that's what Milton Friedman always said. "If there is something wrong," a bad businessman is usually behind it.
23 posted on 11/10/2008 9:49:29 PM PST by gipper81 (If anyone is asking "why?" - read the Road to Serfdom, FA Hayek)
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To: imahawk

If you look at the election data, GOP lost by narrow margins in 2006, and the margin expanded slightly in 2008 because 7 million less people (mostly conservative) voted. Problem is GOP are on the wrong side of many blue collar issues. No one questions the actions of CEO and financiers who lobby Congress, run companies into the ground, demand workers to cut their pay and benefits and yet collect huge bonuses even when the company fails. The GOP should be outraged at the CEO’s and financiers for doing such thing, instead we fall back to the argument that the CEO and etc are owners of the company and government/politicians should butt out of internal corporate affairs. Ross Perot once pointed out that main street Americans have something that lobbyists and corporations do not have, more voters. GOP ability to remain in power also depends on corporate Americas’ ability to treat their American workers fairly. Ignoring corporate America’s stupidity has manifested in losses in 2006, and the Wall Street crisis that brought down the GOP in 2008.


24 posted on 11/10/2008 9:51:36 PM PST by Fee
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To: gracie1

The longer the recession lasts, the more people will return to a frugal, conservative lifestyle, and at least on the financial side, conservatism will flourish. There really isn’t much chance for new big government programs in the Obama administration, and both sides of the aisle will have to learn to reign in spending, because so will their constituents.


25 posted on 11/10/2008 9:52:33 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: Gondring

Where is the rest of the article, I mean the media strategy recommended by the author? I don’t see one. Am I missing something?


26 posted on 11/10/2008 9:53:03 PM PST by Irene Adler (')
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To: gracie1

The fatal flaw in trickle down is that the fat cats invest their profits overseas instead of allowing the $ to trickle down.


27 posted on 11/10/2008 9:53:27 PM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns.)
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To: CitizenUSA
I have no doubt Americans would be better off with a truly conservative government, but getting majorities to see the same thing is problematic. This is a generation that wants everything now, and they aren’t willing to forgo immediate gratification for some distant, greater good.

A truly conservative government would be a blessing, but I'd settle for a benevolent dictator because we have simply lost the ability to govern ourselves. We are infested with career politicians, and no rational person would want to be in the crosshairs known as the presidency; then we wonder why ballots are populated with egomaniacs like Aitch. We see derelects from society signed up to vote and bussed to the polls; we see countless interviews in which people cannot express a single cogent thought concerning what motivated him/her to vote. We have schools that preach the gospel of multiculturalism and political correctness, while opposing nothing save the ultimate evil known as intolerance.

And then we wonder what's wrong with our government. The answer is "nothing". We get the government we deserve - the problem is with our self-absorbed, post-Christian, instant-gratification, smarmy, pseudo-intellectual society.

28 posted on 11/10/2008 9:57:22 PM PST by awelliott
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To: gracie1
Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy.

It's no more gone, in my opinion, than the Democratic Socialists were gone when GW Bush "stole" the election from Al Gore in 2000.

In fact, I think that G-d gave the Oval Office to Socialist Obama so that the people will ultimately be forced to reconnect with the Constitution and its history to protect themselves from Obama's misguided pen.

29 posted on 11/10/2008 10:24:00 PM PST by Amendment10
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To: shuckmaster

Because the f-ing government taxes the hell out them. One time ago I realized that the overhead expense of being a US citizen is extreme. Talk about the rat race. The goverment is constantly there, like some sorta protection racket, to skim off your work to pay for things. We work hard, and yet the cost of living keeps going up goes up and up and up. Eventually, most people can’t keep up , and who do they turn to? The very bastards who designed this mess in the first place, the goverment. Tyranny my friends, and self imposed at that.


30 posted on 11/10/2008 10:32:41 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
McCain ran a campaign to lose. Come on. A Socialist Organizer and we can't beat him? He gains massive $ inflows of offshore donations and McCain says nothing. This schwantz wanted to lose and surprise he did. Sarah deserved better
31 posted on 11/10/2008 10:40:13 PM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Hoosier-Daddy

That doesn’t excuse the people who stayed home and didn’t vote or voted third party... I always said I would crawl over broken glass to vote for the party because the alternative was too horrible to contemplate; unfortunately 20% of us were of the attitude like you that we deserved to lose... well this country does not deserve what is about to befall it due to that selfish attitude... these are the same people who stayed home in 2006 and put Nancy and Harry in charge.. how is that working out for you?


32 posted on 11/10/2008 10:53:31 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: gracie1

I can summarize the demise of Conservatism in two words:

Bush

McCain

Take back the party, 2010!


33 posted on 11/10/2008 11:21:48 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (SARAH *** JOE *** 2012!)
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To: gracie1
"We blew it."

34 posted on 11/10/2008 11:23:30 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: Uncle Miltie
I can summarize the demise of Conservatism in two words: Bush McCain

No, 4 words: Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain

But hell, toward the end even Goldwater wasn't a 3-leg conservative.
35 posted on 11/10/2008 11:28:17 PM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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To: CitizenUSA
“We are reaching the point where people who are dependent on government largess outnumber those who produce.”

Yes, there will be bread and circuses — welfare handouts and American Idol — from an Emperor ruling a once proud Republic, who has the audacity to think himself a God, nay Messiah. But as he fiddled and wrote his verses about his father, Rome burnt and the masses ran riot in the streets. He proclaimed, “What is a god to do? Call out the guards to protect me.” But Collin Powell was out dancing with the boyz in the hood, and Bill Ayers was teaching al qaeda recruits and Westley Clark how to blow up buildings. So he was left by himself to talk to the mob without the miracle of a teleprompter... Life is so unfair.

36 posted on 11/10/2008 11:29:14 PM PST by Blind Eye Jones
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To: gracie1

I like PJ. Will print out for later read.


37 posted on 11/11/2008 2:25:44 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat
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To: Arizona Carolyn

He got my vote, but only because the alternative (reality) was too frightening to imagine.


38 posted on 11/11/2008 6:21:24 AM PST by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Gondring

Did you read the entire article?

He says our stance on abortion is wrong, our stance on illegals is wrong, and our stance on prop 8 is wrong.

I suspect if all read the article you might have a different take.


39 posted on 11/11/2008 6:57:51 AM PST by arjay (I would rather be right than consistent.)
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To: 21stCenturion

...


40 posted on 11/11/2008 9:45:54 AM PST by 21stCenturion ("It's the Judges, Stupid !")
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To: gracie1
I just came across this myself while browsing the Weekly Standard and was going to post it, so BTTT.

No one says it like P.J. And he's right. He says some things that a lot of FReepers will not like, but it is the harping on precisely those things that have contributed to the defeat and being propelled far along the road to marginalization.

Ignore him at your peril.

41 posted on 11/12/2008 5:14:39 AM PST by King of Florida (A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.)
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