Thursday, July 03, 2003

Saudis crack down

Interesting update to my earlier post about the need for Islam to change. At least in Saudi Arabia there's an effort under way to accomplish this. (via JunkYardBlog)

The real impact of campaign finance changes

When I worked in politics, I was always amazed how journalists understood so little of how the process actually worked. That's showing up again in the discussion about national fundraising and the new campaign finance laws. The simplistic analysis is that the new campaign finance regulations are going to hurt Democratic candidates because of the GOP's ability to raise more "hard" money.

However, there are some journalists who understand that, in reality, liberal donors will simply give more to interest groups and PACs like the Sierra Club, EMILY's list, NARAL, etc. and that these liberal interest groups will therefore spend more money supporting Democratic candidates. The overall amount of money being spent to support Democrats is not going to substantially decrease because of campaign finance "reform."

What I haven't read, however, is anyone pointing out how the campaign finance laws are going to push Democrats substantially to the left for the long term. To my thinking, this is the really big story here, and it's not getting any play. The major goal of the national parties is to win as many seats as possible in the Congress and to win the Presdency as often as possible. That's why, for example, the DNC will support pro-life, pro-gun Democrats in the South and why the RNC will support moderates in New England. If the DNC has a lot less money, that means that Democratic candidates are going to have to get more of their funds from the PACS and interest groups, who are going to want commitments in exchange for those funds.

PACs and organizations that represent trial lawyers, environmentalists, unions, etc. aren't moderate and aren't going to support candidates who don't support their views. As a result, Democratic moderates are now going to have a lot more trouble raising money. This makes it more likely that Democrats could be in the minority for a long time.

Pro-life movement gaining strength

Yesterday's Washington Times has a wonderful story showing that a majority of American women are now pro-life. The progress that has been made on this front is amazing, and I think that medical technology deserves a lot of the credit. Sonograms show anyone with two eyes the truth -- that what's inside the womb is more than a blob of tissue, that it is indeed a baby. The abortion issue is going to continue to move toward the pro-life side. I honestly believe that a reversal of Roe v. Wade is a question of when, not if.
Dean's hypocrisy

Howard Dean is now ready to send 2000 American soldiers to Liberia.

Dean argued his position on the use of force is not out of line with his opposition to the war in Iraq.

"The situation in Liberia is significantly different from the situation in Iraq," he said.

Dean argued there's no inconsistency in opposing the war in Iraq while backing intervention in Africa. He said Bush never made the case that Iraq posed a threat to the world.

"The situation in Liberia is exactly the opposite," Dean said. "There is an imminent threat of serious human catastrophe and the world community is asking the United States to exercise its leadership."

Dean perfectly illustrates my point from yesterday; notice how he says that it's important for us to send 2000 troops to Liberia because "the world community" (meaning the UN) wants us to go. Liberals like Howard Dean want to basically turn the US into a province of a UN world government.

Notice how Dean asserts that "an imminent threat of a serious human catastrophe" is justification for war. What about the mass graves in Iraq, Mr. Dean? Don't they represent a serious human catastrophe? What about the prisons for little boys not even 10 years old? What about the athletes that Uday Hussein tortured when they lost an event? What about all the families searching grave after grave looking for their loved ones who simply disappeared? What about the genocide of the Marsh Arabs and the destruction of 95% of Iraq's wetlands? What about the Kurdish towns wiped off the map by chemical weapons? What about the Kurds whose faces were eaten away by poison gas? Do any of these count as "serious human catastrophes," Mr. Dean?

The blogosphere needs to expose Dean's rank hypocrisy. Who's with me out there?

Update: John Hinderaker from The Power Line actually beat me to this one -- who else smells a rat?

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Intervene only when not in our national interest

John Hawkins has an interesting post expressing his disgust that we might go to Liberia and try to keep everyone from killing each other there. Money quote:

If America has no stake in the fight, we should let some other nation or power get involved...

But isn't that the whole point, John? If you're a liberal, it's only by getting involved where we have no national interest that we can show the world how good we are. On the other hand, if someone thought Charles Taylor might be developing WMD to use against Americans, or if going there could somehow benefit corporations such as Bechtel or Halliburton, then sending US troops to Liberia would only illustrate how arrogant, greedy, and imperialist we are!

I believe that President Bush is thinking about Liberia because he wants to make a determined effort to show that he cares. I believe that's also why he pledged $15 billion for AIDS in Africa. Part of it may be reaching out to the soccer moms of America, but another part of it is that he really does care and wants to help.

The biggest problem with sending peacekeepers to Liberia is that we simply don't have the troops to do it. We are already overextended from Bosnia, Afganistan, and Iraq. We've got large numbers of reservists called up already, and people will quit joining the reserves if they're going to get called up all the time to police the world.

Monday, June 30, 2003

Jacob Levy has an interesting post on the political ramifications of the Supreme Court's sodomy decision. Of course, he writes from an opposite bias than I do, and I don't agree with all of his conclusions, but I do have a few observations:

1) I actually don't agree with criminalizing adult, consentual sexual behavior. I think that Justice Thomas was right to say that such laws are not good public policy. Just because I believe something is a sin does not mean that it should be a crime.

2) As many people have pointed out, the sweeping nature of this case puts the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in jeopardy, and it opens the door for gay marriage.

3) Gay marriage is unquestionably the next battleground in the "culture war." I think that the U.S. population is currently against gay marriage, but that may not continue forever, especially after the liberal media get through with trumpeting the new gay marriages in Canada. Expect to see lots of happy, joyous, newly married gay couples in Canada gracing your nightly news soon.

4) If a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is to happen, it would have to happen immediately, because Jonah Goldberg was right when he recently said that the battle for societal acceptance of homosexuality is over, and conservative Christians didn't win it. Hollywood has made normal what was seen 15 years ago as deviant behavior is now something to celebrate.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan agrees with me (sort of). Key paragraph:

That's why, of course, they will now shift to marriage rights. The critical point here is that public debate is in flux on this. We've seen considerable change in public attitudes toward homosexuality in the last couple of decades - change that is now percolating upwards to SCOTUS and elsewhere. On themarriage question alone, support for equalmarriage rights keeps growing - and is now at 39 percent in the latest CNN/USA Today poll (up from 27 percent in 1996). The social right has therefore one option: to shut down the debate now - before the numbers move even more swiftly against them. They want to designate gays as a class of people constitutionally denied equality for ever. They want the term gay relationship to be anathema to what it means to be an American - before the public dialogue shifts any further. So they will soon launch their nuke against gay men and women trying to form stable relationships: a constitutional amendment to keep gays permanently outside the possibility of equal citizenship.

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