December 7, 2007 - November 30, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
stings elephant, outraging many.
You are all most welcome for the preview
I have given you of two issues that will be part of the 2008
presidential campaign. Since no one seems in the mood for humor, I'll
explain these for everyone who finds it impossible to delve below the
most superficial level of provocation for insight.
First, though, a couple of observations and assertions.
has proven that he can
be trusted. The most prudent response he could have chosen to my post
was no response. That he attempted to address the questions I raised
speaks very well of his integrity.
Even the angriest commenters here still did not stoop to the
four-letter filth that is not just common but pervasive among leftwing
blog folk. That their jibes were mostly wide of the mark was
unfortunate, but it does highlight one of my reasons for posting what I
And what about all those irate Presbyterians? I mean, how could they
furious just because
I slammed John Calvin about as hard as I did the Mormons? Uh, what? You
didn't notice any irate Presbyterians? Hmmmm. I wonder why.
For the record -- and as most regular readers of InstaPunk should
readily have determined -- I don't hate Mormons. If Romney turns out to
be the Republican nominee, I will probably support him. I don't think
he's the best candidate available because he's a Massachusetts
Republican on the wrong side of some key conservative issues. I also --
and separately -- don't believe he's electable, no matter how smart and
rich he is. All you enraged Mormon commenters have just helped
InstaPunk makes fun of everyone. That's a big part of what we do here,
and we're not going to stop doing it because we are not political
players with some obligation to be politically correct. We romp up and
down on the sidelines shouting catcalls and sticking out our tongues.
Because we can. I don't recall receiving anything like the amount of
grief you Mormons expressed when I was just as "borderline offensive"
(Dean's words) about Richard
Dawkins's atheist agenda
a few weeks ago.
So here's the first point. Did all you Romney adherents and Mormons
really think that the subject of Romney's religion wouldn't come up in
the course of a campaign for the presidency? The most disturbing thing
about the comments was how offended and surprised everyone seemed to be
that anyone would bring up the subject. That is truly absurd. And is
this how you're planning to persuade the electorate that it's not a
problem? By immediately resorting to ad-hominem attacks without
bothering to look past the first incendiary remarks for more
information about the person who offended you? (Leaping to the
conclusion that InstaPunk is a liberal and/or Jew hater and doing nothing to verify such assumptions
before making a fool of yourself is really inexcusable if you're
actually trying to help your cause, not just blowing off steam.)
Romney's religion is definitely going to be an issue in the campaign. If
you want your man to win, the time to drag this looming iceberg into
the open is now. The worst possible strategy is to ignore it until
after Romney is nominated, because that's when the left will go to work
on it, and if you thought I
was unfair, you ain't seen nothing yet. We've just seen how unafraid
the lefties are of using genuinely
against the Roman Catholic Church. They despise
evangelical Christians even more than they do Catholics. You need to
think long and hard about how unscrupulous they'll be about the Church
of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.
Some facts everyone in the Romney camp needs to accept pronto. It is
remarkably easy to make fun of Mormonism. You're going to see a lot of
it, and I mean a ton. And it's not going to be as simple to handle for
Romney as it was for Kennedy to handle his Catholicism. Nothing I read
in the comments reassures me that you Romneyites understand this
reality. I am especially concerned about the intimations I read that
there are Mormons who are good Mormons even though they do not really
believe all the harder to believe stuff!? Talk about your slippery
slopes. Serious thought has to be given to how Romney advocates and the
Mormon community generally should respond to the doubters. And there
will be a great many doubters who are not "arrogant twits" or "bigots"
or "haters," but mere conventional traditionalists who think that what
and where a person comes from says a lot about who he is and what he will
do in a pinch.
This brings me to the second issue -- the role and responsibilities of
"players" like Hewitt and Barnett. Though he circled around the
question quite a bit, Barnett never did quite draw a clear line between
being a blogger and a semi-official advocate for a political candidate.
In fact, his posture of taking offense at InstaPunk's Mormon abuse
rather than recognize the size and danger of the iceberg does no
service to his readers or his candidate. He wound up falling through
the rift between blogger and campaign-worker. As a campaign worker he
shouldn't have linked me at all. As a blogger, he should have
remembered that satire is in InstaPunk's DNA and addressed the fact of
a political problem that is best not wished away.
This is a significant issue of its own, irrespective of the Romney
candidacy. In the 2008 election, the political world is going to reach
into the blogosphere in new ways, drafting bloggers as political
soldiers and thereby creating much confusion and potential conflict of
interest. Last week's flap about John Edwards's blog girls is only the
first of what will prove to be many controversies. What is
the line between bloggers and
campaign soldiers? What are the ethical questions that should be
anticipated and thought through ahead of time? Specifically, what
should bloggers-turned-campaign-workers tell their readers about what
they will or will not do with their writings on behalf of a candidate?
Or are we just supposed to read between the lines and guess how much is
honest discourse and how much is pragmatic political spin?
Frankly, I'm not comfortable with that, and it seems to me that Dean
Barnett is still grappling with the problem but has not quite come to
grips with it yet.
For all of you who found it impossible to read this because you're so
blinded by the conviction that I'm just a bigoted idiot, my
condolences. Shooting off your six-guns at anyone who says unflattering
things about Mormonism is naive at best and self-destructive at worst.
Whether you know it or not, I've just done you a big favor. Get a grip.
And finally, to Dean: I know you'll sort your way through the ethical
issues. That's why I picked on you rather than someone else.
A more specific response from InstaPunk to a commenter
who's still angry and bitter.
Friday, February 09, 2007
"The only thing more inherently
corrupt than a Yankee fan is a Red Sox fan."
-- St. Paul
Truth is, Dean Barnett would do anything for the Red Sox. Dean's boss
at Townhall.com is Hugh Hewitt. Hewitt likes Mitt Romney. Romney was
governor of Massachusetts, home of the Red Sox. How surprising is it
that Barnett posted this the other day?
To put Romney's on-line fundraising
into perspective, consider that the notoriously web-savvy John Edwards
raised only $746k and change on-line in the same time period. And
Romney raised his $1,.4 million on line without the help, guidance and
leadership of two virtual gyno-warriors. Amazing!
Sigh. Hewitt and Barnett are both smart guys, but, well, really.
Mormonism is the most absurd form of Christianity by, say, a million
parsecs, and I, personally, am getting tired of American conservatives
who believe the American people can be sold a bill of goods on the
say-so of well connected (Look at me being influential!) bloggers.
I'll say what no one else will at this point: Mormons are untrustable
Christians are people who believe in the divinity of Christ. They are
conspicuously NOT people who believe that Christ magically appeared to
an ancient American nation with no archaeological or written record of
any kind for the purpose of telling them how to make money by not
drinking hot liquids.
The fact is, we're talking desperation. Republicans are going down in
flames. It's almost impossible to find a real conservative who wants to
run for office. So the king makers have decided to pretend that a
cultist who has the money to finance his own campaign is a
And they expect us to buy it because, hey, look at all the important
people we interview. Besides, you know how Christian they are. Don't
remind you about that almost every day?
Hugh Hewitt is a self-professed Catholic-Presbyterian. (Time out for
some punctuation exercises -- ? ! ! ?...) Actually, there are
no appropriate punctuation
marks for a Catholic-Presbyterian. Nothing that indicates a
brakes-locked panic stop
with a 180 degree twist.
I'm blowing the whistle on Hugh Hewitt. And Dean Barnett. I'm a Scot.
Only a Scot can comprehend the total absurdity of the
oxymoron, and only a Scot can know for sure that John Calvin was, well,
a typical half-smart engineer, afflicted with the arrogant certainty
logic will inevitably lead you to the most scientifically correct
(i.e., stupid) theological conclusion anyone ever thought of:
that actually being a good person is irrelevant because salvation is
only a lottery decided ahead of time by an insane god who cares nothing
about works or worth. Of course, being French, Calvin didn't have
enough of a sense of humor
to pretend he got this idea from a magic crystal that
disappeared after it calculated the meaning of life as an imaginary
That's the Presbyterian part. Personally, I prefer the Catholic part,
which we see when Hugh Hewitt goes all papal
on Democrats who don't
understand the ultimate rationality (Stop
it, Calvin. I mean it.
) of the Inquisition.
All humor aside, we're seeing in the Hewitt-Barnett example an instance
of what happens when sincere bloggers start to become politicians.
Barnett is an intelligent, well-meaning man. So is Hugh Hewitt. But
they've both been bitten by the power bug. They think they can play a
role in who gets elected President of the United States in 2008. In
their infinite wisdom, they've decided that should be Mitt Romney and
that we will be taken in by their assurances based on the respect they
earned for honesty before they became campaign functionaries. The sad
fact is, we can't trust them anymore.
Sorry. Truth time. Mitt Romney will never be president.
He's a Mormon. Therefore
a loon, regardless of how blazingly intelligent you have to be to make
a half billion dollars in this country. The American people aren't
going to buy this particular pig in this particular poke.
I still like Dean
and I still like Hugh
That's why I'm offering this
extremely valuable bit of advice: Give up being political gurus and go
back to being plain-speaking conservatives. The only possible outcome
of your campaign efforts is ruin -- professional. personal, and
I'm not kidding, Dean. Especially about the Red Sox.
So. The hornet's nest has been stirred up. Good. Check out the comments
section to see the
Mormon defense at its finest. Mostly to the point and mostly absent the
kind of invective I employed. Also, Dean
has responded in his customary gentlemanly fashion,
although he administers an old-fashioned spanking to yours truly. If
all these arguments seem unnecessarily heavy, go to the always
for relief. I will respond to the serious stuff tomorrow. There is
method in the madness.
A response from InstaPunk
A more specific response from InstaPunk to a commenter
who's still angry and bitter.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Defending the Edwards
Amanda Marcotte & Melissa McEwan
I've been busy on other matters, so I missed most of the flap about the
two women John Edwards hired to do "outreach" to liberals in the
blogosphere. Conservatives especially have been irate about several
things: their seeming prejudice against Christians, particularly
Catholics; their propensity for earthy Anglo-Saxon diction; the
opportunity seized by the MSM to characterize them as typical of all
bloggers; their belated attempts to sanitize the blogs they wrote
before hiring on with the Edwards campaign; and, most recently, John
Edwards's decision to keep them on staff because he believed their
assurances they meant no insult to any race, sex, or religion.
What are the facts? Amanda Marcotte has a B.A. in English Literature
from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She wrote numerous posts
for a blog titled Pandagon in which she repeatedly explained the
impeccable logic and moral superiority of the liberal (i.e., tolerant)
preference for secular reasonableness over the irrational and largely
hostile prejudices of white, male, Christian, Republican varieties of
the American populace.
Melissa McEwan studied cultural anthropology, sexuality, and gender at
Loyola University, Chicago. She wrote her posts for a blog called
Shakespeare's Sister and almost incredibly demonstrated the same level of proficiency shown by Amanda in persuading her readers of the
greater appeal of liberal policies when they are examined in the
specific context of conservative ignorance, fear, and reaction.
Yet despite these dazzling accomplishments, multiple otherwise
clear-thinking conservatives have not only failed to defend them from
the winds of political opportunism but have even presumed to make fun
For this kind of unacceptable behavior I must specifically indict:
Michelle Malkin's HotAir
video, in which she read entries out loud in what can only be called a
IowaHawk's inexcusable lampooning of the same and kindred entries in an
unkind post called The
, who actually hunted down entries which had been
deleted since the two joined the Edwards campaign.
For shame. Regular readers of InstaPunk will already have understood
that these two remarkable ladies deserve praise rather than ridicule
for persevering in their commentary despite being afflicted with New
, which is running epidemic throughout the
liberal universe and is by no means limited to the blogosphere. Here is
what Dr. Tourette wrote of the ailment when he first identified it in
“In the midst of an interesting
conversation, all of a sudden, without being able to prevent it, she
interrupts what she is saying or what she is listening to with horrible
screams and with words that are even more extraordinary than her
screams. All of this contrasts deplorabl(y) with her distinguished
manners and background. These words are, for the most part, offensive
curse words and obscene saying(s). These are no less embarrassing for
her than for those who have to listen, the expressions being so crude
that an unfavorable opinion of the woman is almost inevitable.”
No surprise, I suppose, that it's the intolerant conservatives who so
abysmally fail to understand what is obvious to all liberals about all who come to grief: THEY CAN'T HELP IT.
No less an icon than Dr. Samuel Johnson was afflicted with (old)
Tourettes. As to the new strain, it's apparently even more pernicious
and resistant to treatment than the old. So what good does it do to
repeat and exaggerate their spontaneous explosions, to parody them in
deadly bursts of satire, or to tear away the veils of modesty they
apply after the fact to conceal the grossest acts of self-humiliation a
normal person can conceive of?
I say, be done with the ridicule. Let us follow the worthy model of
John Edwards in understanding their plight. God bless him. And good
luck to these poor, pitiable, benighted liberals of the female
persuasion. May God lend them aid and comfort in their hour of need,
just as they have so often afforded aid and comfort to the enemies of
Thankfully, the Anchoress
knows what's what. She almost always does.