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To: John R. Guardiano

Welcome, John.

A few things:

1. When posting to FR, you should post a thread, then stay to discuss it. This isn’t a “drop off a thread or two and never come back” kind of place. It’s more of a community. My advice is to be selective of what you post. Post your best column, and post the whole thing so we can read it. If folks like it, they will go back to your site for more. But no one likes folks who use FR for pimping purposes only.

2. Blogs should go under “Bloggers,” not News.

3. As stated above, post your entire piece. No need to excerpt (certainly not your own work, which you may freely post anywhere since it’s yours). It makes it easier to read and comment. Also, FR has a better reading environment - crisp and clean, and free of flash and popups. As much as I respect Horowitz, his site environment sucks. No matter who you are, popups are evil. And a popup that blocks the text you are reading????? Geez!!!!

Okay, that said, let’s get you and your fellow columnists on the right track here.



Michael Steele was once the Democratic Party’s worst nightmare. He has since become the Republican Party’s biggest headache.

Pat Buchanan’s attempt to defend Republican National Committee Chairman (RNC) Michael Steele fails. Miserably. Steele, of course, recently insisted that Afghanistan is “Obama’s war,” which cannot be won and should never have been waged. Pat defends Steele on free-speech grounds.

“A majority of Americans oppose the Afghan war,” Pat cries.

And the point made by Steele about the futility of fighting in Afghanistan has been made by columnists George Will and Tony Blankley, ex-Rep. Joe Scarborough, Ron Paul and antiwar conservatives and moderates.

When exactly did supporting Obama’s war policy become a litmus test for loyal Republicans?

Pat misstates the issue. The issue is not a narrowly partisan one of support for “Obama’s war policy.” The issue is a broadly national one of support for our troops in the field. Indeed, the question is not: do you want Obama to win? It is, instead: do you want our troops to win?

After all, president’s don’t lose wars; countries do. And losing a war ought to be unacceptable to all conservatives and, indeed, all Americans. But the sad truth is that Buchanan and other anti-war critics don’t want our troops to win. They want our troops to come home!

That’s fine. Pat and other “lost conservatives” are entitled to their opinion and to give voice to their opinion. This is, after all, the United States of America, the land of free speech and the First Amendment. Here, people and pundits are free to criticize the president’s war policies.

But free speech is a two-way street: Anti-war types like Buchanan are free to criticize the war; however, they can hardly expect to be immune from criticism themselves. Yet, Pat cries foul whenever his side gets whacked or knocked down. Well, welcome to the NFL, Buchanan! Political debate is a contact sport, you know!

.Moreover, there’s a fundamental difference between the criticisms made by a pundit or a candidate and those made by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Candidates and pundits speak only for themselves, whereas the RNC chairman speaks for the entire Republican Party.

The problem with Steele speaking out against the war is that it communicates to the country and the world that the GOP is now against the war in Afghanistan. And far from encouraging the type of vigorous public dialogue and debate that Pat claims to want, this instead discourages and stymies dissent.

That’s because GOP officials and GOP candidates further down the totem poll take their cues from the party’s national leaders. These grassroots types, therefore, are reluctant to oppose the RNC chairman. They reason that if Steele is against the war, then maybe the party as a whole is against the war; and that perhaps they, too, should join the bandwagon.

So instead of siding with the types, Steele should be supporting our troops — or, at the very least, he should refrain from saying anything that could be construed as anti-war. If Steele wants to speak out against Afghanistan, then the appropriate thing for him to do is to resign as GOP chairman and run as an insurgent candidate for president in 2012.

This is something Buchanan has experience with and I’m sure can advice Steele about. But I don’t think an anti-war/anti-defense candidate in 2012 will fare any better in the Republican Party primaries than did Pat in 1992 and 1996. Most conservatives, after all, support our troops.

You can follow John Guardiano on Twitter: @JohnRGuardiano

14 posted on 07/13/2010 5:15:02 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (You can evade reality, but you cannot evade the consequences of evading reality. ~Ayn Rand)
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To: Larry Lucido

Well said.
Cordial and informaive.

17 posted on 07/13/2010 5:45:05 AM PDT by humblegunner (Pablo is very wily)
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To: Larry Lucido

OK, thanks. I appreciate the feedback and advice. I am new to posting on Free Republic and welcome your thoughts and the thoughts of other readers.


21 posted on 07/13/2010 8:29:20 AM PDT by John R. Guardiano
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