May 12, 2007 - May 5, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
. When conservatives contemplate a Hillary Clinton presidency,
they are overcome by visions of socialistic domestic programs -- a
nationalized health care system, sharply higher and more progressive
income taxes, expensive giveaways for every conceivable Democrat
constituency, and a crushing new burden of federal regulations on
business. It's possible that these are
her intentions, although few of
her critics delve too deeply into the contradictions between her
leftist ideological roots and the lessons she must have absorbed from
the more pragmatic strategy practiced by her husband, who was, with a
few exceptions, disinclined to break the great American economic
machine with expensive social engineering projects. Why spend good
money on causes you can just talk about to great effect?
The truth is, it's very hard to know what kind of president Hillary
would make. Maybe being the first woman president and getting reelected are more
important to her than the radical agenda she developed in college and
law school. We are handicapped by our very experience with the
Clintons, which teaches us not to trust anything they say about
anything, because they always feel free to do whatever they deem
advantageous at the moment, regardless of what they've said in the
past. That's why conservatives are not at all surprised that Hillary
has suddenly done an about-face on the Iraq War, despite a long and
very well documented record of espousing an opposite view.
In a sense, the conservatives have tricked themselves on the subject of
Hillary by getting their reasoning backward. They've convinced
themselves the great danger of a female Clinton presidency is a
socialist pogrom and that the best strategy for preventing it is to
keep reminding people that the Clintons aren't to be trusted when they
make promises -- and besides, they're almost unbelievably ruthless and
vengeful when crossed. But it's actually the latter -- the character
issues -- that are more threatening to conservatives, who will be made to pay dearly for past slanders. A socialist
agenda, if Hillary actually still has one, is not the nightmare but the
dream come true. Big socialism always hurts an otherwise strong
economy, and if Hillary reaches too deeply into the voters' pockets,
they will hurl her and her party out of office. (That's why, as we've
pointed out elsewhere
all the Global Warming reformers are going to be bitterly disappointed
in short order.)
With one exception, the most reasonable and probable scenario for a
Hillary presidency is a less successful version of the Bill Clinton
presidency, less successful because Hillary simply isn't as charming as her husband.
That's not a particularly interesting prediction, and it neither helps
the desperate Republicans nor provides much inspiration to Democrats.
Which explains why hardly anyone is making such a prediction.
But we noted an exception. It's a big one, and it's one that should be
intensely interesting to both Republicans and Democrats. It's about the
character issue. It made an unexpected and history-altering impact on
Bill's presidency. And it would likely do the same to a Hillary
presidency, but in an entirely different way.
You see, we can't believe anything Hillary's ever said about the
Islamic jihadists and the War on Terror. As she tacks farther and
farther left -- toward surrender in Iraq and a strictly defensive
posture vis a vis terrorism -- she is making herself increasingly
vulnerable to the one thing she cannot tolerate -- being made to look
bad. If she rides a wave of pacifist denial to the White House, the
consequences of American retreat will land squarely on her desk in the
Oval Office. A re-emboldened al qaeda will eventually attack the United
States again on our home soil, probably more seriously than they did on
9/11. How will Hillary respond?
I think her likely response would make that of any other candidate in
the '08 race, including McCain and Giuliani, look mild by comparison.
Bin Laden and his followers are too dumb to realize it, but the one
thing they never ever
do is make Hillary Clinton look bad. She shares almost none of the
constraints that limit the male candidates in the '08 race. She isn't a
"nice guy" or a cool-headed "manager." She has neither military
experience nor any particular admiration or regard for the military.
And she wouldn't have to placate timid appeasers in the opposition
When the attack comes, all the issues that have gotten no traction
during the past five years -- the vicious subjugation of women in the
Islamic world, the perverted exploitation of children as suicide-bombers,
the rise of global anti-semitism, the contemptible double-dealings of
so-called friendly Arab governments, the barbaric murders and
mutilations of civilians -- will suddenly gush nonstop from the Clinton
spin machine into the public consciousness, successfully this time, and
she will resurrect the JFK Democrat patriotism of old; she'll give the
"bear any burden, pay any price" speech and she will mean it. She will
be willing to spend American military lives more freely in the name of
her vengeance than George W. Bush, Cheney, McCain, and Giuliani
combined. She will have no compunction whatsoever about morphing into
an American Churchill. The phony
will be over for good.
What Republicans and Democrats have to decide from their opposing
perspectives is just how they feel about this. One can make the case
that from time to time the nation really does need a true sonofabitch
at the helm, someone who knows how to attack and keep attacking until
the enemy is vanquished or destroyed. George W. Bush has been resolute,
but he lacks the killer instinct and the monumental ego that overrides
all opposition and doubt. Hillary possesses these attributes in spades.
How should Republicans feel about Hillary as Commander-in-Chief? I
I clearly don't speak for the Democrats. They have their own decisions
to make, based on their own criteria. All I can offer them is a bit of
advice. Don't look for proof that I'm wrong in any of Mrs. Clinton's
utterances, past, present or future. Look into her mind and soul. If
you like what you find there, so be it.
NOT A VOID
. To fall
on the sword right away, we admit that this site's coverage of
Hollywood celebrities has been completely one-sided. In our defense,
we'll offer up the fact that the MSM has also been one-sided,
successfully conveying the impression that everyone with real talent in
show business is a radical lefty pacifist/envirofreak/Bush-hater.
But we have known for a while now of some notable exceptions whose
identity when we discovered it surprised the hell out of us. It's time
we acknowledged that. Robert Duvall, Harvey Keitel, Gary Oldman, and
Dennis Hopper were the four who shocked us most. And now Jon Voight.
Here's a partial transcript from an interview he recently gave on Hugh
Hewitt's talk radio show
HH: When Ahmadinejad says Israel will
be gone in a flash, do you take him seriously that he might use a nuke
if he obtains one? And should we allow him to obtain it?
JV: Obviously, he means what he says, and heís spoken about the
destruction of the United States as well. So heís a serious enemy. We
have to take him seriously. And he is going, you know, heís going
forward as fast as he can to achieve that weaponry.
HH: So the phone rings, and itís George W. Bush, and someone sent him a
transcript of this, and he says you think I should bomb them? Theyíre
getting close. What do you tell him?
JV: Well, I think weíreĀE think that we have a tremendousĀEhis time is
fraught with dangers, and we have to have responsible people in the
White House and in our government. And I believe that our generals are
capable, and I believe our President is capable.
HH: Now letís turn to Bush. You said some nice things about Bush and
the Vice President in Radar. Again, a lot of people donít like this.
You said, ďThe attack on George W. Bush I find to be reprehensible. I
have great regard for our government. We have all sorts of checks and
balances that are afforded us by our Constitution. We have a lot of
hard-working people in the government. Once it gets to be partisan, it
takes the energy in another direction.ĀEYou point out that they wanted
to impeach Lincoln in 1864. Whatís Bushís reputation going to be in
twenty years, Jon Voight?
JV: Well, you know, who knows? At this time, when you ask me a question
like that, Iím reminded that Iím an
actor. This is not my strong suit, but I would say in my little
humble view, I think he will have a high place. [emphasis added]
HH: Did you vote for him?
JV: I did not.
HH: You voted for Kerry?
JV: Oh, this last election, I voted for him, yes.
HH: Okay, but you voted for Gore?
JV: Yeah, I voted for Gore.
HH: And what has impressed you the most about Bush in the six and a
half years heís been in?
JV: I think this strength of character, his fortitude. I think he sees,
he understands things, and I think heís, by the way, I think heís
extremely gracious. When you seem him introducing Nancy Pelosi, or
meeting with other members of Congress who are, who have set themselves
against him. Heís always a gracious figure, he always speaks kindly and
nicely of people. He never stoops to name calling or any of that. But
he holds the line. He knows what has to be done, and he stays with it.
He doesnít seem toĀE mean, you have to have extraordinary strength of
character, I would say, but you know, to take the blows that he has
taken in office, you have to have an extra reserve of strength, and he
has it. It was one of the kids in Walter Reed said, and he was one of
the fellows who said Iím not going back, I wonít go back. And almost
everyone else to the man said I want to go back and be with my buddies,
and if I canít do the things on the field because of my injuries,
theyíll find a place for me, and Iím very grateful for that. Iím going
back, Jon. This fellow said no, I donít think Iím going to go back.
Thatís it for me. I said well, what do you think about our President?
And he said he is strong. This guy is a strong guy, Jon.
HH: What about the Vice President? You also refer to Cheney in this
JV: Well, I referred to an aspect that was, that people very little
know, we see a certain kind of face on Dick Cheney. And people make
jokes, and try to demean this fellow, but heís got a great dignity,
heís very bright. And also, heís very sensitive. He goes to Walter Reed
every six weeks, and goes to every room. And when I see, when somebody
talked aboutĀEeople review a speech as if they would review a movie or
something like that. They said well, his tie was this way, and he was
looking around at this point, and I saw at the State of the Union, Dick
Cheneyís face, and I know what heís carrying in terms of the
responsibility and his caring for this country and for those guys, too,
and thatís what I see in his face.
This man is among the very very few famous people -- in or out of
politics -- to identify the extraordinary personal grace of George W.
Bush and understand its importance. He's right, notwithstanding the
exceptionally rare humility that prompted him to deprecate his own
opinion because he is "an actor."
There's starting to be a discernible pattern in the slow uncovering of
such right-leaning celebrities. We were surprised that the actors
listed above have become conservatives because none of them has been
conservative in his choice of parts in the acting profession. That was
just sloppy thinking on our part. All have acted in truly important
and/or ground-breaking motion picture projects, which suggests both
independence of mind and dedication to acting as a profession rather
than as a mere route to stardom. Perhaps ironically, they are most
closely identified with movies that could be considered archetypes of
the counterculture -- Midnight Cowboy
, Easy Rider
, Apocalypse Now
, Sid and Nancy
, Mean Streets
, and many more.
All have been perfectly content to play villains after
having played leading men,
and they all excel at it. They must have a good strong sense of who
they are. Notably, they are conspicuous in not fitting the mold of the
drab, conformist drones lefties assume all conservatives to be.
It's probably foolish to look for too many commonalities among them,
since they are all evidently individuals. Three are military veterans,
two are college graduates, and none are the offspring of other
Hollywood stars. But all of that is neither here nor there. The purpose
of this post is to salute them as individuals, not as symbols of some
demographic. They're worthy of our respect.
We'd like to shake their hand.
As commenter Mike reminds us (Thanks!), there's also John Malkovich, who's almost
cultishly important for just being himself. We knew that. Our bad
for forgetting it, even momentarily. It's a formidable list, isn't it?
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Time Goes By
doesn't remember the scene above from the most famous of all
movies? It doesn't hurt that the Marseillaise is unquestionably the
most stirring of all national anthems, but the real heart-catching
moment is the closeup of the female collaborator at the bar reawakened
to courageous patriotism. For that instant, everyone watching is
also a Frenchman.
Now: how many of you have seen this clip from the Sarkozy victory rally
the other night? Pay close attention at 38 seconds in.
A trick of drama and cinema? Or is there hope, after all, for this long
troubled nation? I don't know, but I know which I'd like it to be.