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Morning In America by Jonah Goldberg (Very Funny)
National Review Online ^
| Jonah Goldbergl
Posted on 11/06/2002 12:29:57 PM PST by RooRoobird14
"I saw Tom Daschle on TV this morning. He had the same expression on his face my dog makes when he sees me scrape meat off my plate into the garbage instead of into his food bowl.
I saw Dick Gephardt on TV this morning. He looked like the kid who still hasn't been picked for softball even though two girls and the boy with one leg longer than the other have already been chosen. I've listened to a lot of C-SPAN callers this morning, they generally sound like angry first wives who somehow think Republicans are responsible for their husbands taking off with the Xerox Bunny.
Now, I would be a liar if I said this didn't make me happy. I'm sitting here tired, hung over, desperately in need of a shower and tongue-shaving and all I can think of is Conan's summary of what is good in life: "To crush your enemy. See him driven before you. To hear the lamentations of the C-SPAN women."
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2002; election; fiendishglee; gloating; goldberg
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you didn't have enough to smile and laugh about today!!
Jonah Goldberg is in rare form ("lamentations of the C-SPAN women"--ROTFLOL!)
My first comments on FreeRepublic since last night....
It is a HAPPY HAPPY DAY!
posted on 11/06/2002 12:32:31 PM PST
I saw Tom Daschle on TV this morning. He had the same expression on his face my dog makes when he sees me scrape meat off my plate into the garbage instead of into his food bowl. I saw Dick Gephardt on TV this morning. He looked like the kid who still hasn't been picked for softball even though two girls and the boy with one leg longer than the other have already been chosen. I've listened to a lot of C-SPAN callers this morning, they generally sound like angry first wives who somehow think Republicans are responsible for their husbands taking off with the Xerox Bunny.
Now, I would be a liar if I said this didn't make me happy. I'm sitting here tired, hung over, desperately in need of a shower and tongue-shaving and all I can think of is Conan's summary of what is good in life: "To crush your enemy. See him driven before you. To hear the lamentations of the C-SPAN women." Okay, Conan didn't actually throw C-SPAN in there, but he would if he knew about it and, besides, he plagiarized the line anyway.
But while gloating is only natural, and, of course, I would give anything to swivel and twirl around in an office chair singing, "
Nah, nah, nah nah, hey-ay-ay goodbye!" to Terry McAuliffe as he walks down that long, lonely cubicle-corridor at DNCHQ carrying his box of "McBride With Pride '02" coffee mugs and bumper stickers there is still work to do.
On Monday, the Democratic party and the Republican party were effectively in a boxers' clinch. The Democrats held onto the Republicans by blurring their positions on the economy criticizing the tax cut, but refusing to advocate its repeal and on the war; and the Republicans clung to the Democrats by playing down their position on Social Security and "compassion." Of course, George Bush had already spent much of his term blurring those differences by hugging Ted Kennedy on education, for example. What happens in a clinch is that you don't have enough room for anything but short jabs and low blows, which is why this election was so full of negative ads and lame policy proposals.
But on Wednesday, Bush broke up the clinch and so now there's room to maneuver and throw big punches. To switch to another sports metaphor, Democrats had stopped the Republicans cold on the fifty-yard line until last night, and now the field has opened up enough for Bush to advance the ball. Credit for this development has to go to George Bush, who campaigned across the country like he'd been visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future and had been so frightened by the ghost's vision of a Democratic Congress he decided to change the world.
So now Bush has room for some long passes. He has a Republican House and Senate which know or should know that they owe their power to him. This means George Bush has, at best, a year to topple Saddam Hussein and get some serious work done on the home front. For the last year Bush has been MIA on domestic policy, and if he doesn't get some big stuff accomplished, there's every reason to believe the GOP could lose the House, the Senate, and the presidency to Al Gore and the forces of Mordor.
The first thing Bush has got to do is move some judges through the Senate. Whether he should lead with the most controversial ones or the least is a tricky question. The Left and the Democrats will paint anybody the Republicans confirm as a hate-mongering, Orwellian goose-stepper. So the question is, does that mean you should put the most palatable ones up first, so the Dems look hysterical for no good reason or do you put the hard-core guys up first because this may be the GOP's only chance? I don't know. But I do know that the conservative base demands, expects, and deserves a lot of good judges to be confirmed by the Senate because of this, and Bush needs to placate them right away.
That's because Bush will probably need to sprint to the center now. Karl Rove knows that Republicans get murdered when they overreach or when the media and the Democrats are successful at creating the perception that they've overreached. So that means we'll be getting a lot of his Texas-style reach-across-the-aisle stuff. That's fine, if A) it helps with the war effort, B) he's already made conservatives happy about judges, and C) all of that bipartisan charm amounts to an attempt to say "nice doggie" until he can find a rock (to paraphrase Will Rogers).
Bush and the Republicans need to act fast on some Big Things that will consign the Democrats to rump party status and the GOP to governing party. Otherwise, we can expect the Democrats to push the ball back to the fifty-yard line again in 2004 (and if the economy is still bad then, sell all your stock in the GOP for the next decade).
One irony to keep in mind is that while this election made the government more conservative, it also made the opposition more liberal. Daschle and Gephardt are going to be punished for not attacking Bush on the war and the economy more (because that strategy didn't work), and Democrats like Gore are going to be rewarded (for wanting to fight on those issues). When a party is completely out of power it not only stands on its base, it runs on it. That means a more antiwar and pro-tax Democratic party for the next two years. That can be to Bush's advantage if the Democrats come to be seen as out of the mainstream while the Republicans are seen as the responsible, govern-from-the-middle types.
The first thing the GOP should do is get the homeland-security bill and the terrorism-insurance stuff taken care of right away, during this lame-duck session if at all possible. There's no time for anything else, and it would at least hammer home the message that Republicans are getting important and necessary things done which, in fact, is exactly what they'd be doing. After that, in the next session, don't expect Bush to come out of blocks with a bill to pave ANWR or to fully privatize Social Security, or anything else that would allow Democrats to effectively cast the GOP as "extremists."
One thing they could and might do is push very hard for tax simplification. I know it sounds boring, but I think this is the sort of thing which appeals to a lot of moderate Democrats who want to vote for Republicans but don't like the social issues. Currently, the tax code is more complicated than setting the clock on God's VCR. Streamlining and rationalizing it is something normal people would endorse but special interests would scream about. If Bush got it through, he could accurately paint himself as fighting for the little guy. He could even play the class card a bit by making sure the top 1 percent didn't make out like bandits with the reform. If the super-rich took a small hit in order to fumigate the American tax code, it would be well worth it for us and for them too. He could also buy support for a better tax code by cutting cap gains and enlarging the deductibility of IRAs (which is almost guaranteed to happen). Over 50 percent of Americans own stocks today, so they're willing to listen to reason about such things.
In fact, I could envision a campaign to clean up the political system that could win McCain Democrats without causing too much trouble from Bush's base. And besides fixing the tax code, Bush could go after the trial lawyers which would make business happy, rattle a core base of Democratic funding but not Democratic votes, and earn the approval of history, God, and the forces of truth and light.
But the most important thing is that Bush get to work on a domestic policy now. His MIA bit hasn't gotten him in too much trouble this last year because of the war on terrorism. But there's no way that will last until 2004, even if the economy picks up and the war goes well. Conservatives will want to know it pays to have their guys calling the shots, and voters will be looking for excuses to throw the government either back into gridlock or back into Democratic hands. By mid 2003 it will already be too late, because half the Democratic caucus will be running for president and nothing will get done. I'm not saying Bush should ignore social conservatives, by the way. He should certainly pluck the low-hanging fruit by passing a partial-birth-abortion ban and by increasing his support for faith-based initiatives. But between an unpredictable war, re-election, and an opposition that will be alleviated from any responsibility in governing, Bush will have to be very careful or it's back to Crawford. As for me, it's back to bed.
My face won't stop smiling.
posted on 11/06/2002 12:35:50 PM PST
Conan's summary of what is good in life: "To crush your enemy. See him driven before you. To hear the lamentations of the C-SPAN women." ...and, besides, he plagiarized the line anyway.
The quote was plagarized from Genghis Khan:
While still in his formative years as a rising chieftain, he once asked some friends what the greatest pleasure was. After they variously answered hunting, falconry, or archery, Genghis is reputed to have said:
"The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him. To ride their horses and take away their possessions. To see the faces of those who were dear to them bedewed with tears, and to clasp their wives and daughters in his arms"
posted on 11/06/2002 12:45:22 PM PST
Genghis was History's first true Democrat.
For the DemonRats, it's mourning in America.
posted on 11/06/2002 12:49:22 PM PST
When the write in absentee ballots came out with a 1% lead for the new Republican gov of Hawaii...Linda Lingle---the dnc spokesman said with a very slight gulp
in his throat "it was too early to make any comments"!
I predicted to the RNC chairman she would lose four years ago and be the gov now!
"The quote was plagarized from Genghis Khan"
Goldberg notes it was plagiarized, although not the source. I would be interested to see where you found that quote; I find the prospect of Genghis using words like "bedewed", or, for that matter, compound sentences, pretty humourous. It just smacks of historical embellishment.
It was also in the "Conan" movie about 20 years ago... starred "Ahn-old", and was the first "big" thing he was in....
posted on 11/06/2002 1:05:53 PM PST
So the question is, does that mean you should put the most palatable ones up first, so the Dems look hysterical for no good reason or do you put the hard-core guys up first because this may be the GOP's only chance?
Answer: You don't put up anybody BUT hard-core guys.
For the last year Bush has been MIA on domestic policy, and if he doesn't get some big stuff accomplished, there's every reason to believe the GOP could lose the House, the Senate, and the presidency to Al Gore and the forces of Mordor.
He is so right...and I love the bit about 'Al Gore and the forces of Mordor.' Hilarious!!
Do you think if we sent en masse just copies of this article and others that we think are representative of our opinions to the White House, that we might get the Administration and Congress to listen harder to what we are trying to tell them?
And do you think Lott will be removed? Lott seems nice, personally, but I have a horrible feeling he is going to flub this second chance in a BIG way.
posted on 11/06/2002 1:21:17 PM PST
The source of the quote:
I've seen various iterations of the original quote, all quite different.
posted on 11/06/2002 1:22:26 PM PST
So that means we'll be getting a lot of his Texas-style reach-across-the-aisle stuff. That's fine, if --- C) all of that bipartisan charm amounts to an attempt to say "nice doggie" until he can find a rock (to paraphrase Will Rogers).
Jonah apparently gets even better when he gets no sleep.
This is another version of Khan's quote, with words that seem more Khan-appropriate. Source is Keegan's book, which is well worth reading:
In "A History of Warfare," John Keegan describes the curious mentality and values of a warrior. Genghis Khan, for example, "questioning his Mongol comrades-in-arms about life's sweetest pleasure and being told it lay in falconry, replied:
'You are mistaken. Man's greatest good fortune is to chase and defeat his enemy, seize his total possessions, leave his married women weeping and wailing, ride his gelding [and] use the bodies of his women as a nightshirt and support.'"
posted on 11/06/2002 1:33:51 PM PST
Great article, and right on target!
The best defense is a good offense. The Republicans should go on offense, immediately, and go for the toughest things first (conservative judges, Supreme Court). That's what Reagan would have done (and did).
If Republicans decide it's time for one more try at "let's all just try and get along", they are going to get their head handed to them when the Democrats get their balance back - and they will, as soon as their allies in the Media get over their shock. Then they will start to pick away, just like they did after September 11th. Pretty soon the Republicans will be divided again and the idiot polls and white noise will be at crescendo levels. Then, nothing of substance will get done!
The time to strike hard is when you're enemy is on the ropes, not when he has recovered from your blows and implementing his new strategy to destroy you!
posted on 11/06/2002 1:51:22 PM PST
Uh, shouldn't that be "the CNN women"?
Better put a suicide watch on Judy Woodruff!
Hi, Alkhin! Yes, I do think it helps to write the President and your congressman (and would encourage everyone to do so). That's one way they can take the "pulse of the people;" they won't know we're out here unless they hear from us.
I do not think Lott will be pushed aside, unfortunately. I sure hope I'm wrong, but I think he's pretty safe. Very disappointing, too, because he's like a Frenchman: afraid to be right, actually AFRAID of what the people who are wrong will say about him.
The Keegan one sounds much better...I like him a great deal. I still think the story is somewhat apocryphal, but I'll buy Keegan's version. Thanks!
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