Behold the sign of the protesters!
Unlike those of us who are actually mature and debate the speakers that come to campus, the Leftist protesters call Rove a "war criminal" and themselves "dissenters" and "justice lovers."
(And of course, in their warped world, it is conservatives who think in such gross generalities...)
Fortunately, this country has the perfect get out of jail free card for Rove: the presumption of innocence and its found in this little thing known as the Constitution.
Perhaps our friends on the Left have forgotten that we actually have a judicial procedure, enamored as many of them seem to be with campus wide emails that find criminals before crimes -- scribbles on white boards, mostly -- have even been photographed by the Claremont Police Department. In that world, all that is necessary for punishment is the consent of a feckless administrator.
So, by the powers vested in me as one who has actually won a game of Monopoly, I grant thee thy reprieve, Mr. Rove. You've earned it.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Behold the sign of the protesters!
I wonder if the Claremont Republicans (or whatever they call themselves nowadays) have gotten that message, and will start to campaign for John Lerew CMC '81, who is battling for Colorado's 7th district against Ed Perlmutter. He could actually use the help.
More likely, the CRs are just going to campaign for a safe candidate. How boring!
Still, I'll definitely be voting Dreier this election and you all should too.
From the Contra Costa Times,
Warner faces uphill battle
This year, however, the powerful House Republican from San Dimas faces a more serious - or at least well-funded - challenger than he has in years.
With more than $500,000 already in hand, Democratic local businessman Russ Warner's bid for the 26th District congressional seat also comes at a time when Dreier's party is increasingly out of favor with the public.
Even so, local political experts don't give Warner much of a chance.
"Dreier's a heavy favorite, given that he is an incumbent with a strong fundraising advantage and name recognition," said Jack Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College.
But even if Dreier is not overly concerned about Warner's chances, he is not ignoring the race. Last week, a flier accusing Warner of bad business practices and vague positions was mailed out to area residents.
The Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has also been circulating e-mails about Warner, highlighting old tax liens against his magazine distribution business and the fact that his corporate business license was suspended earlier this year for late payment of state fees.
Asked about the fliers, Warner appeared flattered by the attention from his opponent.
"Can you imagine a 28-year congressman coming out with a piece that's so negative?" he asked. "I've never seen anything like it in this district before. He must be really concerned."
Warner has since had his license reinstated, according to John Barrett of the California Franchise Tax Board.
Warner added that the tax liens indicated he may have initially underpaid his taxes over several years in the past. The liens on his record are between 1992 and 1997.
"In 1992, we were only about five years old, and we were just starting to make a little bit of money," Warner said.
He said he may have given himself a pay raise without applying the raise to the state rubric used to calculate taxes.
"It doesn't mean we did anything wrong," he said.
Warner is counting on support from independents to push him to victory, and he will need them: The 26th District is about 42 percent registered Republican, 35 percent Democrat and 19 percent decline to state.
Dreier, too, will need support from independents, said Allan Hoffenblum, a longtime GOP consultant. But unlike Warner, he added, Dreier has a long history of courting independents, and he has name recognition.
Dreier "has been battered in the past not so much from the left, but from the right, on the immigration issue and on others," Hoffenblum said. "It's a district that has a lot of independents, but a lot of them end up being moderates who vote Republican in the end."
In an attempt to appeal to those voters, Warner has played up his role as a small businessman and has said that securing federal resources for local entrepreneurs would be a priority for him in Congress.
It is for that reason that the RCCC is targeting his record as a businessman, said Hector Barajas, the organization's communications director.
"He likes to portray himself as a successful local businessman and has made it a cornerstone of his campaign. But in reality, he can't pay his taxes or keep his business license active," Barajas said.
Dreier declined to comment on the race, forwarding questions to the RCCC.
While the RCCC has gotten involved, the Democratic Congressional Candidate Committee has not.
So far, they have not spent any money on the race, Warner admits, although he said he is hoping that as Election Day nears they may get involved.
Warner may face other money problems in challenging Dreier. Although he has done well in fundraising, he spent a lot on the primary, where he defeated Cynthia Matthews, a student who ran low-budget but surprisingly effective campaigns against Dreier in 2004 and 2006. She also beat Warner in the primary in 2006.
While Matthews lost twice to Dreier, she was able to bring in more votes than experts and observers expected. In 2004, she garnered 43 percent of the vote to Dreier's 54 percent. In 2006, she won 38 percent of the vote to Dreier's 57 percent. In previous campaigns Dreier often won by dozens of percentage points.
The primary campaign left Warner with about $125,000 in campaign cash, according to his most recent campaign finance reports. He also has loaned his campaign nearly $200,000, leaving him in a position to take on a large personal debt if he can't raise more money.
But even if Warner does not win the race, the future of the district could change. A neighboring district, the 29th, runs through Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank. For years it was a Republican stronghold. That changed in 2000, when the current congressman, Rep. Adam Schiff, defeated the incumbent Republican, Jim Rogan.
Although that election was affected by Rogan's role in the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton, the 1998 election highlighted the coming shift of the district, as Rogan won by only four points.
Dreier's district runs along the foothills from La Ca ada Flintridge to Rancho Cucamonga. It has seen a decrease in Republican registration since 2001, when 47 percent of registered voters were Republican, versus 42 percent today. Democratic registration, however, has remained flat at around 35 percent in that time, leading to more voters who decline to state their party affiliation.
David Gershwin, a political consultant at the Cerrell and Associates firm, said he thinks the district could change over the years, like the area around Pasadena changed.
"You see changing ethnicity there, so you are seeing the political climate change as well," Gershwin said.
He added that if Warner were able to perform well against Dreier in November, it might inspire him to run with a better-funded campaign in 2010 or attract a better-known candidate to run.
But Pitney disagreed. He said that although the Los Angeles area has been trending more Democratic, there is not enough evidence to support a large demographic shift in Dreier's district.
"It's a little different because in that district you had heavy urbanization in Glendale and Pasadena," Pitney said. "Even as you see some demographic change in who lives there, you won't necessarily see a huge political shift."
Professor Charles Kesler interviewed Chris Buckley yesterday at BookExpo America in Los Angeles. The show will be broadcast on CSPAN-2 Book TV at the following times:
- Sunday, September 14 at 6:00 PM
- Sunday, September 14 at 9:00 PM
- Monday, September 15 at 12:00 AM
- Sunday, September 21, at 12:00 PM
According to the Book TV website,
Christopher Buckley presents a satirical view of the Supreme Court in his novel, “Supreme Courtship.” The former speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush presents a fictionalized account of the justice appointment process and the results of what happens when a reality television show judge is nominated for appointment to the highest court in the United States. Christopher Buckley discusses his book and the intersection of politics and humor with Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books at BookExpo America in Los Angeles.For those of you interested in the book, here's an audio summary of it on National Review's Between the Covers.
Harry V. Jaffa, one of Claremont McKenna's most distinguished professors, wrote an article twelve year ago about the election of 1996. In an election where several states will be voting on whether or not the Constitution's 14th amendment means what it says and where one party under John McCain has come out against racial discrimination, while the other votes for its candidate, Barack Obama, who pretty much is the affirmative action candidate, Jaffa's remarks twelve years ago in The Wall Street Journal are all the more important today.
It's a long slog until we realize the dream Lincoln saw for us, but it won't be for lack of trying, as we inch, little to little, to the land where all men are created equal.
Harry V. Jaffa's "The Party of Lincoln vs. The Party of Bureaucrats," September 12, 1996
In their convention acceptance speeches, both Bob Dole and Jack Kemp declared that the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln. But just what is the connection between the Republican Party of 1860 and that of 1996?
The essence of slavery, Lincoln said, was expressed in the proposition "You work; I'll eat." Upon his election as president, he was besieged by office seekers who drove him to distraction. Lincoln was blunt in his judgment of the great majority of them: They wanted to eat without working. Lincoln saw the demand for the protection of slavery and the demand for government sinecures to be at bottom one and the same. The origin of all constitutional rights, according to Lincoln, was the right that a man had to own himself, and therefore to own the product of his own labor. Government exists to protect that right, and to regulate property only to make it more valuable to its possessors. Today, the pro-slavery impulse still governs the Democratic Party, the party of government sinecures. It is the party that wants to use political power to tax us not for any common good, but to eat while we work. Consider the Great Society and its legacy.
In the fall of 1964 I was on the speech-writing staff of the Goldwater campaign. In September and October I went on a number of forays to college campuses, where I debated spokesmen for our opponents. My argument always started from here: In 1964 the economy -- thanks to the Kennedy tax cuts -- was growing at the remarkable annual rate of 4%. But federal revenues were growing at 20%: five times as fast. The real issue in the election, I said, was what was to happen to that cornucopia of revenue. Barry Goldwater would use it to reduce the deficit and to further reduce taxes; Lyndon Johnson would use it to start vast new federal programs. At that point I could not say what programs, but I knew that the real purpose of them would be to create a new class of dependents upon the Democratic Party. The ink was hardly dry on the election returns before Johnson invented the war on poverty -- and proved my prediction correct.
One did not need to be cynical to see that the poor were not a reason for the expansion of bureaucracy; the expansion of bureaucracy was a reason for the poor. Every failure to reduce poverty was always represented as another reason to increase expenditures on the poor. The ultimate beneficiary was the Democratic Party. Every federal bureaucrat became in effect a precinct captain, delivering the votes of his constituents. His job was to enlarge the pool of constituents. But every increase in that pool meant a diminution of our property and our freedom.
The recently passed law to "end welfare as we know it" came about because a lethargic public has been aroused at last, not by the failure of the welfare system but by its success. The public indignation, however, would have been of no effect had we not elected a Republican Congress. No Democratic Congress would ever have passed such a law.
Just as welfare reform may help end the poverty industry, the California Civil Rights Initiative on the November ballot may lead to the demise of another 1960s product, the racism and sexism industry. The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination based upon race, sex, color, religion or ethnic origin. The act was based on the premise that the only race to which a person must belong is the human race. With respect to God-given natural rights, "all men are created equal."
The civil rights establishment, led by the NAACP, fought the good fight that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. They fought that fight under the banner of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which reflected the equality proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.
The classic statement of this principle is to be found in Justice John Marshall Harlan's dissenting opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson, the infamous 1896 decision that enshrined "separate but equal" into constitutional law for more than half a century: "In view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior dominant ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved."
Everyone knows that Hubert Humphrey, one of the chief authors and sponsors of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, had declared that under Title VII no discrimination on the basis of race or color was to be lawful. He explicitly said that this meant no discrimination of white against black, and no discrimination of black against white.
Suddenly, however, remedies for something called "racism" became the order of the day. (The word itself -- like "sexism" -- is of recent coinage and will not be found in any older dictionaries.) The civil rights movement, premised upon individual rights, suddenly became the black power movement, premised upon group rights. "Affirmative action" became a euphemism for the baldest kind of racial discrimination. That whites had long enjoyed preference over blacks was now taken to be a justification for blacks having preference over whites. What was lost sight of was that the evil of the past -- whether of slavery or of Jim Crow -- was evil not because it was done by whites to blacks, but because it was done by some human beings to other human beings. The purpose of the law was to end evil acts, not continue them in the guise of "affirmative action."
Affirmative action, rightly understood, would justify a wide variety of outreach programs for those whose lives have been stultified by poverty, broken families, bad schools, and neighborhoods filled with drugs, crime and gangs. One can heartily commend a program for tutoring young blacks, or young whites, who had never had a genuine teacher in a real classroom. One cannot, however, commend a program of raising the grades of young blacks -- but not young whites -- without having raised their skills. And what possible justification can there be there for giving scholarship assistance to the child of a black middle-class family, while denying it to a poor white? Can one imagine a more crass disregard for the genuine meaning of the Equal Protection Clause?
The priests of this new religion of "affirmative action" are not without material interests. Hundreds of millions of corporate dollars are spent annually on "sensitivity training." Within the universities, centers for black, brown and women's (i.e., feminist) studies are being established, with vast amount of patronage bestowed upon them. Traditional courses in Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Shakespeare and the Bible continue to appear in the catalogs, but they are increasingly taught by "deconstructionists," who have no interest in the texts, but only in subjective reactions to the texts.
Abraham Lincoln was self-educated. His curriculum included Shakespeare, the Bible, Euclid and the Declaration of Independence -- the monuments to the freedom of the human soul, the possession not of Western man, but of a humanity compounded of all colors and every condition. In Independence Hall on Feb. 22, 1861, Lincoln asked what it was, above all else, that went forth to the world on July 4, 1776. It was not, he said, the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the motherland; but something in that Declaration giving hope to the world for all future time. The Declaration gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all would have an equal chance. These are the principles upon which the Republican Party must stand, in 1996 no less than in 1860.