Skip to comments.GOP Crack-Up? Pardon My Guffaw (Mark Steyn: Republicans "Did the Right Thing" re: Schiavo)
Posted on 04/03/2005 4:15:09 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Anyone would think it was the Republicans who'd lost the 2004 elections, and the 2002 elections, and the 2000 elections. From every corner, concerned "friends" of the party rise to offer "friendly" advice. Norman Lear, who produced all those critically acclaimed issue-confronting heroine-gets-an-abortion '70s sitcoms that seem a lot more dated than ''The Beverly Hillbillies'' these days, has now produced a People For the American Way ad in which a man who identifies himself as a "common sense Republican" objects to any attempt to end the Democratic filibuster of Bush's judicial nominees. As things turn out, the "common sense Republican" has so much common sense he's an official with a union that endorsed John Kerry.
Then there's the 59 striped-pants colossi of the Nixon-Ford-Reagan State Department who've sent a letter to the Senate calling on them to reject John Bolton's nomination as U.N. ambassador. According to the Associated Press report, the signatories include:
"Princeton Lyman, ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; Monteagle Stearns, ambassador to Greece and Ivory Coast in the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations; and Spurgeon Keeny Jr., deputy director of the Arms Control Agency in the Carter administration."
Princeton Lyman? Monteagle Stearns? Spurgeon Keeny Jr.? If Norman Lear's shows had wacky characters like that, they'd still be in syndication. It's a good rule of thumb that anything 59 economists, bureaucrats or diplomats are prepared to sign an open letter objecting to is by definition a good thing. But that goes double when the 59 panjandrums lined up against you are Princeton Monteagle Jr., President Nixon's ambassador to the Spurgeon Islands; Spurgeon Monkfish III, President Ford's ambassador to the Lyman Islands; Dartmouth Monticello IV, President Johnson's personal emissary to His Serene Highness the Monteagle of Keeny; Columbia Long-Playing-Album, the first diplomat to be named by President Carter to the State Department's Name Control Agency; and Vasser Peachy-Keeny, the first woman to be named Vasser Peachy-Keeny. One sees their point, of course: Let a fellow called "John" Bolton become ambassador and next thing you know Earl and Bud will want the gig.
Even Sen. John Danforth, who should know better, got in on the act, taking half a page in the New York Times to give the Full Monteagle to the "religious right." Blog maestro Andrew Sullivan decided that America was witnessing a "conservative crack-up" over Terri Schiavo and the embrace of her cause by extreme right wing fundamentalist theocrat zealots like, er, Jesse Jackson and Ralph Nader. Sullivan was last predicting a "conservative crack-up" during the impeachment era, on the grounds (if I recall correctly) that Republican moralizing would dramatically cut into Strom Thurmond's share of the gay vote. In the '90s, the Weekly Standard ran innumerable special editions devoted to the subject: Conservative Crack-Up; Conservative Crack-Up 2; Conservative Crack-Up -- The Musical; Abbott And Costello Meet The Conservative Crack-Up; Conservative Crack-Up On Elm Street; Four Weddings And A Conservative Crack-Up; Rod Stewart Sings Timeless Favorites From The Great Conservative Crack-Up, etc.
The point to bear in mind when Hollywood producers, State Department diplomats, respected senators, gay mavericks, the New York Times and the rest of the media offer conservatives advice is a simple one: As that great self-esteem volume has it, He's Really Not That Into You. The preferred media Republican is an amiable loser: the ne plus ultra of GOP candidates was the late Fred Tuttle, the lame, wizened idiot dairy farmer put up for a joke against Sen. Patrick Leahy in Vermont. But, if they can't get that lucky, the media will gladly take a Bob Dole type, a decent old no-hoper who goes down to predictable defeat and gets rave reviews for being such a good loser. Republicans could well run into trouble in 2006 and 2008, but for being insufficiently conservative on things like immigration rather than for anything the media claim they're cracking up over.
The notion, for example, that poor Terri Schiavo will cost Republicans votes in a year and a half's time is ludicrous. The best distillation of the pro-Schiavo case was made by James Lileks, the bard of Minnesota, responding to the provocateur Christopher Hitchens' dismissal of her as a "non-human entity." "It is not wise," wrote Lileks, "to call people dead before they are actually, well, dead. You can be 'as good as dead' or 'brain dead' or 'close to death,' but if the heart beats and the chest rises, I think we should balk at saying this constitutes dead, period."
Just so. Once you get used to designating living, breathing bodies as "non-human entities," it's easy to bandy them ever more carelessly -- as they do in the eminently progressive Netherlands, where their relaxed attitude to pot and prostitution led to a relaxed attitude to euthanasia which looks like relaxing the Dutch people right out of business. It's all done quietly over there -- no fuss, no publicity; you go in to hospital with a heavy cold and you're carried out by the handles. (By "handles," I mean a coffin, not a ceremonial phalanx of Monteagles and Princetons.) But that's not the American way. This is a legalistic society, where grade schools can't have kids knocking a ball around without getting a gazillion dollars worth of liability insurance. I was in Price Chopper the other day and they had a little basket of Easter samples on display accompanied by a page of full print outlining the various sub-clauses of the company's "tasting policy." That's America. In Holland, you can taste a cookie without signing a legal waiver, and, if you get food poisoning from it, the doctor will discreetly euthanize you to avoid putting your family through the trauma of waiting six hours for the stomach pump to become available. That's not how the American cookie crumbles. Euthanasia here will be a 10-year court culminating in slow-motion public execution played out on the 24-hour cable channels.
The Republicans did the right thing here, and they won't be punished for it by the electors. As with abortion, this will be an issue where the public moves slowly but steadily toward the conservative position: Terri Schiavo's court-ordered death will not be without meaning. As to "crack-ups," that's only a neurotic way of saying that these days most of the intellectual debate is within the right. If, like the Democrats, all you've got are lockstep litmus tests on race and abortion and all the rest, what's to crack up over? You just lose elections every two years, but carry on insisting, as Ted Kennedy does, that you're still the majority party. Ted's quite a large majority just by himself these days, but it's still not enough.
HA HA HA! I need to go fishing with Mark Steyn:)
The only thing that brought me back to my senses was a visit to DU.
Try it..it will do wonders for realigning your allegiance.
Those people over there are not only self centered but morally bankrupt as well.
So what's your answer? Just let people be starved to death? Is that what the Republican party should stand for? And I guess partial birth abortion is just a "choice" also? The Republicans didn't do enough to stop Terri's cold-blooded murder, but they did a whole lot more than the death party, didn't they?
Hahahaa, Mark Steyn nails it again!
You know what they say about turkeys...they drown when it rains. Not very intelligent creatures. Certain turkeys can go pluck themselves...
Now, now ....
That 70% is from 2 weeks ago. The numbers are changing fast in the latest polls.
No offense, but you sound like one of those wineey Democrats who vowed to leave the USA because GWB was re-elected.
I fought hard in support of Terri Shindler. I sent money to the Shindler's. I called govt. reps and asked to help save Terri.
I called talk radio over and over.
In short, I fought hard in support of life. I, and most others, would never abandon the party which exemplifies and represents life better than any other.
For those who are THAT willing to 'take your ball and go home,' I suggest you should look deep inside your own self to find what is really motivating you.
I agree. It will take a while for word of what really happened to Terri to spread.
Nancy Cruzan was *killed* years ago, yet I didn't know this until this month.
"[Nancy Cruzan, three days before her death from starvation] turned and looked at me and stared at me with a panicky look, sweating profusely, and the thought I had was, she was thinking, Oh, heres a policeman, hell help me. But we werent allowed to do that,"...Doug Seneker
*Michael's friend, "(Dr.Death") Cranford says it is all right to use the word "kill" when referring to physician assisted death.**
He's NOT?? Those are real names? Hahahahhaa.
It is merely anecdotal, but I spoke with a conservative lady who grew up reflexively voting for Democrats but has voted Republican recently because, like Senator Miller, today's party was no longer the Democratic party she recognized.
She was livid with anger about the starvation of poor Mrs. Schiavo; I don't think the Democrats can reckon on getting another for vote from her for county dog-catcher after their performance in this case.
[In fairness, I should have pointed out that Republicans in the Florida senate were disappointing on this issue, but the larger point that nationally the Democrats were indeed in the pro-death camp and the Republicans were not makes that point only a note for the sake of completeness. Indeed, there were a number of Democrats who were not in the pro-death camp, including Florida Senator Al Lawson.]
You will enjoy post #35 I think.
Yes, we must fight on and never give up. It is imperative. Opting-out is not an option.
As usual Mark is right on target.
It isn't just the liberals who spend 24/7/365 predicting or announcing the end of the Republicans. The walk on the water conservatives, one issue conservatives and the Rinos who claim to be Republicans post that bs every day on Free Republic.
I have seen probably a thousand such posts in my short time on Free Republic blaming the Republicans for everything from being too weak to too strong. Of course the usual FR jackals/Rinos descend on these threads with the same Doom and Gloom replies. Of course GW is usually the end target of all of the Glooming and Dooming.
Well, it didn't happen and isn't happening.
He's got that right.
Once the Florida courts said "NO", however, the focus should be to re-write the LAW that would address this type of circumstance.
BTW, I don't recall the outrage when Karen Quinlan dominated the headlines.
"I haven't vilified anybody in Congress or the White House. I'm glad President Bush made that gesture in signing that bill requesting the judges take another look at evidence."
You don't sound like wppff, Delay was mocked and jeered for "grandstanding" and President Bush was sneered at for leaving his vacation.