Another Media Lie About the Tea Party

The more liberals fear someone, or some idea, the bolder their lies become. I had the misfortune of stumbling across Paul Begala on CNN Wednesday night and he lived down to expectations as usual. His riff was about the Tea Party in particular, conservatives in general, and hypocrisy he perceives in them regarding fidelity to the Constitution.

But what bothers me — and it’s not just Christine O’Donnell, I think, who can plainly — who can plainly plead ignorance as a defense — but across the conservative movement, there is this schizophrenia, this claimed fidelity to the Constitution, when, in fact, they want to shred a whole bunch of it.

As you pointed, they want to repeal the 17th Amendment, the direct election of senators, the 16th Amendment, which allows an income tax. They want to change the First Amendment to ban flag- burning. They want to allow school prayer, which change the First Amendment. They want a balanced budget amendment, a line item veto amendment. They want to change the 14th Amendment, so that people who are born here, some would not be citizens.

I could go on. They want to ban same-sex marriage and put that in the Constitution. So they — they don’t really like the Constitution. It’s a little like saying — say you get married, and you’re on your honeymoon, and turn to your wife and you say, honey, I love you, but you need a butt job, a boob job, liposuction. Could you put this wig on?

I mean, you know, if you love the Constitution, love it or leave it alone.

This is at best ignorance and at worst willful deception.  I’ll bet on the latter, and that he’s banking on the CNN audience not detecting the sleight of hand, and knows the CNN hosts will never challenge him.

What conservatives abhor, and liberals admire, is the shredding of the Constitution by unelected, unaccountable judges. Conservatives also loathe, and liberals love, politicians who take an oath to uphold the Constitution, then spend their time in office subverting its intent.

This inspired document contains its own provisions for legal modification. Only a dolt, or a liar, could support those who ignore and circumvent the Constitution, claiming this inanimate object is a living thing pliable in their hands, then refer to those seeking to follow the legally prescribed process as wanting “to shred it.”  Mr. Begala might glance in the mirror before tossing his tired and predictable cheap shots–and plead ignorance himself.

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What is a “Special Interest?”

In a daily mailing from Silicon Valley Mercury News, the following blurb caught my attention:

The predicted flood of money behind Proposition 23 has yet to materialize. With barely more than two weeks to the election, opponents of the controversial ballot measure to suspend California’s landmark global warming legislation have far outpaced the proponents in fundraising. As of Thursday, the No on 23 campaign — a coalition that includes environmentalists, venture capitalists, social justice groups and some of Silicon Valley’s hottest cleantech companies — had raised $19.6 million while Yes on 23 had raised $9.1 million.

It was the innocuous description of those raising money to defeat the proposition that stood out.  They are a “coalition” not “special interests.”  It reminded me of something I once read (believed to be from George Will but couldn’t be found) that can be paraphrased: A special interest is a group that contributes to the other guy’s campaign. Those who contribute to mine are constituents.

To be fair, the full article includes this quote:

“It appears that the billionaire hedge fund manager and the venture capitalists — some from California, some from other states — who are bankrolling the No on 23 campaign have decided that defeating Proposition 23 is a good investment that will reap them huge returns,” [spokeswoman for Yes on 23] Mangels said. “Investing in No on 23 is the ultimate self-interested political ploy that will help the rich campaign contributors get richer and make it even harder for struggling California families to make ends meet.”

The article lists Thomas Steyer (hedge fund), John Doerr (and wife Ann) (venture capital), and Vinod Khosla (venture capital) as 3 of the top 4 contributors against prop 23, having given $8 million to the cause. There is no hand-wringing about the probable self-interest of the donors at the expense of regular California citizens.  There is no hue and cry over “special interests” buying our democracy.

There should be yet another layer concern.  Presumably the listing of John and Anna Doerr is because that money came from their foundation.  If so, those are tax advantaged funds paid, likely, to protect vested commercial interests. The probable “defense” of all this monied influence would be that the self-interest is incidental, that the intent is serving the “public interest.” Should that be blindly accepted?

I submit the reason for the blind eye is not simple hypocrisy, but willful ignorance.  If you think you can have a government that limits rent seeking only to those causes you approve, and that such monied influence can be kept benign, than you know nothing of human nature, nor the history of government.  Some would probably argue that lower carbon emissions are an unmitigated public good, the benefits to be enjoyed by all.  Tell that to the people who lose their jobs.

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Memorial Day 2010

Sunday May 30, 2010

Dedicated to the memories of two men who exhibited unparalleled courage and dignity.  Finer men I never knew.

Uncle Bob Grundtvig (1931-2009), USN, an inspiration to all who knew him.

My dearest friend, Mike McLaughlin (1945-2008), USMC, who proved the adage: once a Marine, always a Marine.

May God Bless you both, your comrades in arms, and your loving families.

CBS Sunday Morning ran a piece this morning about the Van Doren family of Clyde, Ohio.

When the Van Doren brothers returned from World War II they volunteered to place flags on Veteran’s graves near their home in Clyde, Ohio. They had no idea this would become a tradition carried out by Van Dorens for years to come. 1

This year, three generations from the family placed over 1,200 U.S. flags at veteran’s graves from the Civil War to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As flags are set, they pause briefly to announce each fallen hero’s name with due reverence.  The leader of this year’s crew was seven years old when he first participated in the ritual. My favorite segment was him being asked, “Are you obligated to do this” and his response: “It is a privilege.” 2

Watching this story, including the very young grandchildren learning the same values through participation, brought forth the emotion that accompanies indescribable gratitude.  I have deep appreciation every day, but especially this weekend, for all those who served and their families — more than ever for those who gave their lives on my behalf.


  1. Direct link may not lead where expected after this week, because it inexplicably leads to URL containing “1998/07/19.”
  2. Quotes from memory, not verbatim, but accurately capture the sentiment.

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Obama ‘BFD’ T-Shirt

Barack Obama, following the Clinton (D-Arkansas) tradition, is soiling the office of the President and embarrassing the nation.  Joe Biden’s F-Bomb is being marketed for profit.

I can’t say it any better than already written at Freedom Eden.  Please read it there.

My only addition is: just when I think this administration and their bottom-feeding cabal can find no new depths to plumb, they find a new way to disgust me.

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Dallas Tea Party Push Back at Racist Meme

This isn’t new, but I saw the videos below for the first time today and thought them outstanding.

Fear of ideas has long prevailed on the left and, as La Shawn Barber exquisitely stated, to cowardly attack the messenger is witlessly confused with refuting the message in those parts.  The Tea Party movement has been subjected to particularly vicious attacks. From labeling participants with a slang term for a vile sex act to fatuous accusations of ra-a-a-a-a-cism, the haters on the left have held nothing back while trying to marginalize conservatives standing up for American values and the founding principles.

One such and typical attack came from Keith Olbermann of MSNBC.  The Dallas Tea Party organization posted the following response to the obviously ill-informed propaganda.

Dimwits like those at MSNBC aren’t interested in expanding their understanding, so they failed to accept the invitation to attend a Tea Party function and see for themselves what it was about.

The Tea Party people extended another invitation, which was also ignored.  The inhabitants of the incestuous echo chamber on the left know what they know and aren’t the least bit curious to explore beyond their comfortable bubble.

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Quote of the Day 03/24/10

From a guest column by La Shawn Barber for a vacationing Michelle Malkin.  The entire article is good. I love this quote:

Why are people more afraid of ideas than of giving the government power to stop the flow of ideas?

Let the discussion flourish, and challenge your opponent’s arguments with your arguments. Attacking the person is weak, and banning ideas is cowardly.

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USA Network’s Characters Welcome

USA is one of my favorite networks.  With TNT and A&E, they keep TV tolerable given the dearth of worthwhile programming on the big networks. Besides their own original programs, the time blocks devoted to reruns of a single show, and broadcasting new episodes twice the day they first air also work for me.

But I scratch my head every time the Characters Welcome commercial is aired.

It is unfathomable to me how dividing us by focusing solely on our differences brings us together. That is a pernicious lie.  To be clear, I do believe our differences can and should be acknowledged, celebrated, and leveraged to make us all more complete.  The whole is greater than the parts when it is assembled and functioning in concert.  Dismantling the whole into its component parts discards that value. Sadly, some would rather control separate objects.

It may be a fine line, but not a distinction without a difference.  “Multiculturalism” as they preach it really isn’t, or at least not as advertised. It draws attention to what separates us and ignores what brings us together. It might more appropriately be called “motley-culturalism.”

If the goal is to dignify the worth of everyone individually and not to antagonize by pinpointing our differences, the focus should be fixed instead on what we share in common. The same God breathed life into each of us — Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, black, white, male, female, young, old, short, tall … all of us.

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Remembering Wayman Tisdale with Admiration

While flipping channels a couple of weeks ago, I stopped briefly on CMT and heard Toby Keith’s “Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song),” a tribute to Wayman Tisdale.  It was the first I learned of his passing and, after looking up the news, I reflected on my memories of the man.

Wayman Tisdale played basketball at Oklahoma when my passion for the college game was very high, shortly after my own high school playing days ended.  His game was outstanding, his smile was infectious, his love of God and life were unmistakable, and he was immensely charismatic.

I’m always wary of presuming to “know” public people, and of consequently ascribing unwarranted character, or lack thereof.   The parts of their lives which aren’t necessarily guarded are too often carefully choreographed.  With Wayman Tisdale,  there was a genuineness which seemed rightfully to beg such cynicism be set aside.

He  so seamlessly integrated the different aspects of his life that it is unimaginable to me it could be anything but authentic.  The ease with which he moved from speaking about basketball, music, or his faith was inspiring. Never contrived, he exuded a passion for the life God gave him.

I’m not sure where my need to mention him originates. He was a public person I admired; but I’m not much enamored of celebrity and he was  a stranger to me otherwise.  Maybe that’s it. His magnetism impressed despite his celebrity, and I wish there were more public people like him.  I hope it brings a smile and some measure of comfort to his family that there are probably countless others, strangers like me, who will always remember him as fondly as if he were a personal friend.

May God bless Wayman Tisdale, and bless and comfort his loving family. And thank you, Lord, for sharing him with all of us.

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Talk so cheap it’s worthless

On Saturday, President Obama fired back at former Vice President Cheney, referring back to his inauguration day speech as proof his administration is on a war footing.   A post from Paul Mirengoff at Power Line under the title “The limits of self-reference” points out the President’s unusual insistence that his spoken words should be dispositive.  Not that it is unusual Obama would attach great importance to himself and his rhetoric, but that the actual execution of policy is so completely contradictory.

These quotes bracket an article worth reading with the contrasts it draws between the inaugural speech and subsequent policy actions.

So there you have it: if Obama’s rhetoric has, at one time or another, employed the word “war” in connection with words having some relationship to terrorism, then he must be waging war on terrorism.

If Obama wants to convince an increasingly skeptical public that he takes the fight against terrorism seriously, he needs to change both his posture and his policies. Referring to past speeches won’t do the trick.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Mirengoff, but would take it a step further. This President is so busy trying to pretend he is all things to all people, and has given so many speeches in furtherance of the sleight of hand, that his talk isn’t just cheap. It is worthless.

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Sowell: The Grand Fallacy of the Left

Another great quote, from a great American academic.

“The grand fallacy of the political left is that decisions are better made by third parties who pay no price for being wrong”

– Thomas Sowell

If you appreciate his laconic insights, as I do, @ThomasSowell provides a steady diet on twitter. The account bio says it does not belong to Thomas Sowell, but the owner posts the professor’s quotes.

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