Monday Brief

'One Small Step'

Aug. 27, 2012

The Foundation

“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” –Alexander Hamilton

Culture

“On June 13, 2008, my wife and I were driving home from a Washington party. The University of Edinburgh, my Alma Mater, had recognized the singular achievement of Neil Armstrong, and our Principal, Sir Timothy O'Shea, had conferred an honorary degree on him. Linda and I witnessed the event and then joined a small group hosted by the British Ambassador for a dinner in Armstrong’s honor. Linda sat next to the honoree and had a lively conversation with him. On that ride home, I asked her: ‘Why are you so excited about tonight’s event? We’ve been to a lot of Washington dinners over the years.’ Her immediate reply was: ‘To be with Neil Armstrong, and to dine with the first person to walk on the moon, is to be with a real hero. It is to know someone who has gone where no one has ever gone before, and done what no one has ever done before.’ That says it all. Neil Armstrong, you are The American Spirit! May you rest in peace.” –Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner

Opinion in Brief

“The Left went apoplectic over Romney’s recent joke about birth certificates – perhaps a tit-for-tat shot across Obama’s bow for the prior week’s presidential evocation of the old story of Romney’s dog on top of Romney’s car. But if pundits wish to be so angry at the birther joking, then they should go after the original birthers, who may have started the myth – the literary agency Dystel & Goderich, which for over 16 years in their promo bio listed Obama as Kenyan-born – 1991-2007 – without any apparent complaint or questioning by those who read it. That fabrication was an odd thing to do for two reasons: One, authors are customarily asked to submit biographical information to their agents and publishers, and often periodically update and edit that information in catalogues, promo material, and booklets; and, two: The Kenyan-born reference disappeared abruptly in 2007, without any explanation, right about the time that Senator Obama began his campaign for the presidency. Many have interpreted those strange events not as a simple ‘slip,’ but as the lame fudging of either the agents, or the author, or both, to construct a suitably exotic birthplace for Obama that might emphasize the cross-cultural themes of his autobiography – a hypothesis strengthened by revelations that a great number of the key stories of Dreams from My Father were fictionalized, bearing little semblance to what actually happened.” –historian Victor Davis Hanson

Essential Liberty

“No one doubts that the coming election will be the most important referendum on the size and nature of government in a generation. But another issue is nearly as important and has gotten far less attention: our crumbling commitment to the rule of law. … Though one might excuse departures from the rule of law at the height of a crisis, one would expect to see a prompt reversion to rule-of-law principles immediately thereafter. … By far the most disturbing element of recent trends is that precisely the opposite seems to be taking place. The commitment of government officials to the rule of law has continued to crumble – even after the crisis has subsided. … Rule-of-law matters cannot be separated entirely from questions about the size and role of government. The more government grows, the harder it is to preserve rule-of-law virtues like transparency and clear rules of the game. But the rule of law is nevertheless a distinct and extraordinarily important concern, and it deserves separate consideration as the presidential campaign begins in earnest. Each candidate should be asked: Do you believe that the rule of law was abused during the recent crisis, and what would you do to protect it in the future?” –David Skeel, professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Government

“As the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweitzer documented recently, members of Obama’s campaign finance committee, his campaign bundlers and major Democratic donors received $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans and grants doled out under ‘green stimulus’ programs run by Obama’s Energy Department. This is crony corruption, pure and simple. As we’ve said before in many different contexts, it’s impossible to imagine a Republican administration or Congress having so many conflicts of interest, payoffs and out-and-out examples of crony capitalism without a steady drumbeat of indignant stories in the media followed by a massive government investigation. You have to have priorities, we guess. At least the FBI is looking into a real scandal: the rumor that Republican politicians went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee on a trip to Israel last year. We hope they get to the bottom of that, so to speak, soon.” –Investor’s Business Daily

Insight

“Good government is not intrusive, the people are hardly aware of it; the next best is felt yet loved; then comes that which is known and feared; the worst government is hated.” –ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu (570-490 BC)

The Gipper

“We must put an end to the arrogance of a federal establishment which accepts no blame for our condition, cannot be relied upon to give us a fair estimate of our situation and utterly refuses to live within its means. … We must force the entire federal bureaucracy to live in the real world of reduced spending, streamlined function and accountability to the people it serves.” –Ronald Reagan

Re: The Left

“What the Washington Post and their brothers and sisters in the dinosaur media really want when they make calls for ‘bipartisanship’ and ‘a softer tone’ is not for Democrats to move from the left to the center, but for Republicans, and Republicans only, to move toward the left. … Politics is indeed the art of the possible, and quid-pro-quo concessions are part of what makes a democracy work. But to demand it of the right side of the aisle while giving the left a pass is not ‘concessions,’ but rather a demand for a full-scale abandonment of principle. … Personally, I’d be more than happy to see the two parties working together. And in fact, when both parties honored the basic principles on which this nation was founded, America benefited. … Where there are Democrats prepared to be ‘moderate’ and work for fiscal sanity, the sanctity of private property, freedom of choice in other areas besides killing babies, the full use of America’s energy resources, the downsizing of government and a strong national defense … I welcome them and their ideas as part of the solution. In the absence of that, they’re merely part of the problem, and I couldn’t care less about ‘bipartisanship’ that involves them.” –columnist Rob Miller

Political Futures

“Lately in Washington the scurrilous tone of Obama’s campaign has even made the mainstream media uneasy. They again launch into their false theater about how ‘both sides do it and oh woe is us.’ They cite the Obama campaign’s claims about the dead woman and Romney’s taxes. They mention Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, who charged Romney with a ‘felony’ for the way he exited his business connection with Bain Capital. Then they bring in their examples of the Republicans’ excesses. Inevitably, they go back to 2004 and the charges that Senator John Kerry … had his war record mangled by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and other Republican apparatchiks. Though wait! The Swift Boat Veterans spoke the truth. … The mainstream media also trot out an allegation about Romney claiming that the Obama Administration is ‘gutting’ welfare. Two Republicans, they say, were among the governors who asked for some sort of waiver on welfare. … Obama is reaching out to his very own special constituency. It is composed of those who believe that the Republicans would put up as their candidate for the presidency a person who in his business life would engage in fraud, tax evasion, even murder. Obama is casting his net for the moron vote.” –columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell

For the Record

“Can we stop calling the hosts of the presidential debates ‘moderators’? They’re left-erators. It’s time for the old media godfathers to end the pretense that they’re fair and neutral observers of the American political scene. And it’s time for the GOP to stop perpetuating these rigged exercises in futility. … While the debate panel trumpeted the gender diversity of its picks, the chromosomal diversity is far outweighed by the political uniformity, class conformity and geographical homogeneity of the group. … The presidential debates are the last bastion of ‘mainstream’ media self-delusion in the 21st century. They are a ritual laughingstock for tens of millions of American viewers who have put up with leading, softball questions for Democratic candidates and combative, fili-blustery lectures for Republican candidates campaign cycle after cycle. Now, Democrats are lobbying the supposedly nonpartisan debate commission to disallow questions about President Obama’s phony dog-and-pony deficit panel. Why does the Republican Party agree to play along with this ideologically stacked deck masquerading as an objective pantheon of disinterested journalism?” –columnist Michelle Malkin

Faith and Family

“The most fatuous application of Forward. has to be the Democratic Convention’s plans to end marriage as we know it. Determined to do follow what is ‘inevitable,’ very liberal delegates will embrace platform proposals that will spell the end of marriage. Do they fully realize what they are doing? … If your only requirement for a marriage is that people love each other, have a committed relationship to each other, and that they give their consent, then you cannot bar twins from marrying. Once you’ve permitted identical twins to marry, how can you bar twin brother and sister from marrying? They love each other. They have a committed relationship. … True marriage is a lot more popular than either of our political parties. … Marriage is not a wedge issue, it’s a bridge issue. It’s the way Republicans can embrace minorities and immigrants. We appeal to Democrats to step back from that brink. If you care about the poor, don’t end marriage. Marriage is the best social program for economic and educational uplift for the poor. … Ending marriage is not Forward. It’s Downward. Pull back in time.” –columnist Ken Blackwell

Reader Comments

“Just as Mark Alexander stated in his essay, A Romney-Ryan Revolution?, I have thought election cycle after cycle that we need our spokesmen to carry the message of liberty and economic freedom in the respectable and convincing manner that Ronald Reagan did. I can only pray that Mitt Romney and his excellent choice for VP, Paul Ryan, can articulate said values and not get sidetracked by the garbagemen of the opposition.” –Ron in Vancouver, Washington

“Mark Alexander is correct. We face very similar circumstances that Reagan faced – but exponentially much worse. Now is the time for all who believe and embrace our Constitution to stand and be counted. We have a long, hard, ugly battle ahead. It will only begin with the election of Romney/Ryan in November.” –James

“In Friday’s Digest, you said that ‘[Ryan’s] plan offers choice – something the Left purportedly favors.’ However, the Left doesn’t want you to choose where to send your children to school, what to eat, what to drive, whether or not to have health insurance, to join a labor union at your job, or a couple dozen other things. The only thing they want to leave to choice is to murder your unborn baby.” –Randy in Janesville, Wisconsin

“It is disgraceful that the GOP is too cowardly to support Todd Akin after what was essentially misspeaking of the sort that politicians do all the time. Why should Akin step aside? He won the nomination convincingly and deserves the opportunity to go against Claire McCaskill because he is the sort of conservative Missourians want in the Senate.” –Dwight in St. Louis, Missouri

“It’s absolutely not disgraceful or cowardly for the GOP to pull all support from Akin. The undeniable fact is that now, since his idiotic comment, he has no chance of beating McCaskill. Akin needs to recognize that facts and give his party a chance to get McCaskill out of office. That is much more important to this nation than soothing his ego.” –Billy in Ohio

“I hope Missouri voters will compare Todd Akin’s voting record to Claire McCaskill’s before they throw him overboard. After comparing Akin’s one stupid comment to liberal McCaskill’s six-year record of America hating, Obama supporting, tax raising and actual destructive deeds, there should be no doubt of who to support this fall.” –Clark in Lewisville, Texas

The Last Word

“[I] find it annoying that even after three years of this administration’s lies and incompetence, Obama remains personally popular with so many people. I mean, even if you support his policies, as apparently many people do, why is it that more people aren’t turned off by his obvious arrogance, narcissism and hypocrisy? … In spite of all that, according to the polls, Obama is running neck-to-neck with a genuinely decent guy like Romney. I’m afraid that says less about Obama than it does about the typical American voter. On top of everything else, Obama wants to condemn Romney for being wealthy, although he is not as wealthy as such Obama supporters as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand or George Soros. Obama condemns Romney for outsourcing American jobs, even though the liberal Washington Post points out that’s an outright lie, while Obama has personally overseen the out-sourcing of billions of American tax dollars to such places as China, Finland and Brazil. Whether it’s because of his traumatic upbringing or his later political influences, which, by his own admission, included racists, radicals and communists, I sincerely believe that Obama has several screws loose.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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