Archive for the ‘Hypocrisy’ Category

Abuse of the Sword

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Alan Dershowitz claims that American laws are too broad.  The breadth of these laws leaves ample room for abusive prosecution.  Dershowitz claims that Eliot Spitzer was wrongfully targeted using this abusive power.

American laws may indeed be too broad when it comes to money laundering and prostitution.  But Dershowitz  must have missed the rise of first prosecutor and then Attorney General Spitzer.  The man made a career out of abusive prosecution.

Dershowitz goes on to question the veracity of leaked reports as to how Spitzer was caught.  “Experts” doubt that the truth developed along the lines the story has unfolded.  Perhaps so…but welcome to the world of Spitzer’s victims.  Spitzer used leaks, lies, exaggerations, and the ultimate power of his office to destroy the lives of countless people.  Does a man like this think he won’t have enemies?  Does a man who “lives by the sword” actually think he won’t some day die by it?

If he does, he’s an arrogant idiot.  We have enough of those in politics.  Good riddance, Eliot.  I feel sorry for your daughters.  I feel only contempt towards you.

And Mr. Dershowitz?  Let’s work on that nasty hypocrisy problem, shall we?

Hypocrisy

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Like most people, I am very intolerant of hypocritical people. This is one reason I find it easy to write about politicians. They’re easy targets in the hypocrisy game, and they’re excellent examples of how not to lead a high performance life (their perceived power and status notwithstanding).

I live in New York (part time). Over the last few years, my patience with the weather and with the politicians has worn incredibly thin. New York politicians fall very low on the totem pole of political integrity. These folks are so corrupt (and hypocritical) that one wonders how any of them stay out of jail. Eliot Spitzer is one politician in particular that has asked us all to sing to one tune while he dances to another.

In today’s New York Times, take a look at this piece detailing Spitzer’s tactics in raising campaign contributions. Spitzer announced a self-imposed “cap” on contributions to his campaign in an effort to cleanse the system of corruption. Like most things political, an effort to do one thing results in just the opposite; in this case, Spitzer is respecting the cap to his campaign while encouraging donors to contribute bonus funds to a democrat party account that he controls.

Also in typical political fashion, the hypocrite blames someone else for his actions. The Times reports that “Mr. Spitzer’s aides acknowledge encouraging contributors to give to both accounts, but say they are abiding by the law and the governor’s pledge, while trying to match the bare-knuckle politics of state Republicans.”

Oh those nasty, bare-knuckled republicans…

Say one thing, do another, blame someone else…it’s amazing to me that an entire generation leads their lives this way. It’s even more amazing that as a society, we elect these people to positions of power.

Train Wreck

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

In shameless, lazy fashion, I’ll let Ann do all of the talking on this most important point. Check it out:

How to Keep Reagan Out of Office
by Ann Coulter

Inasmuch as the current presidential election has come down to a choice among hemlock, self-immolation or the traditional gun in the mouth, now is the time for patriotic Americans to review what went wrong and to start planning for 2012.

How did we end up with the mainstream media picking the Republican candidate for president?

It isn’t the early primaries, it isn’t that we allow Democrats to vote in many of our primaries, and it isn’t that the voters are stupid. All of that was true or partially true in 1980 — and we still got Ronald Reagan.

We didn’t get Ronald Reagan this year not just because there’s never going to be another Reagan. We will never again get another Reagan because Reagan wouldn’t run for office under the current campaign-finance regime.

Three months ago, I was sitting with a half-dozen smart, successful conservatives whose names you know, all griping about this year’s cast of presidential candidates. I asked them, one by one: Why don’t you run for office?

Of course, none of them would. They are happy, well-adjusted individuals.

Reagan, too, had a happy life and, having had no trouble getting girls in high school, had no burning desire for power. So when the great California businessman Holmes Tuttle and two other principled conservatives approached Reagan about running for office, Reagan said no.

But Tuttle kept after Reagan, asking him not to reject the idea out of hand. He formed “Friends of Reagan” to raise money in case Reagan changed his mind.

He asked Reagan to give his famous “Rendezvous With History” speech at a $1,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser in Los Angeles and then bought airtime for the speech to be broadcast on TV days before the 1964 presidential election.

The epochal broadcast didn’t change the election results, but it changed history. That single broadcast brought in nearly $1 million to the Republican Party — not to mention millions of votes for Goldwater.

After the astonishing response to Reagan’s speech and Tuttle’s continued entreaties, Reagan finally relented and ran for governor. In 1966, with the help, financial and otherwise, of a handful of self-made conservative businessmen, Reagan walloped incumbent Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, winning 57 percent of the vote in a state with two Democrats for every Republican.

The rest is history — among the brightest spots in all of world history.

None of that could happen today. (The following analysis uses federal campaign-finance laws rather than California campaign-finance laws because the laws are basically the same, and I am not going to hire a campaign-finance lawyer in order to write this column.)

If Tuttle found Ronald Reagan today, he couldn’t form “Friends of Reagan” to raise money for a possible run — at least not without hiring a battery of campaign-finance lawyers and guaranteeing himself a lawsuit by government bureaucrats. He’d also have to abandon his friendship with Reagan to avoid the perception of “coordination.”

Tuttle couldn’t hold a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for Reagan — at least in today’s dollars. That would be a $6,496.94-a-plate dinner (using the consumer price index) or a $19,883.51-a-plate dinner (using the relative share of GDP). The limit on individual contributions to a candidate is $2,300.

Reagan’s “Rendezvous With History” speech would never have been broadcast on TV — unless Tuttle owned the TV station. Independent groups are prohibited from broadcasting electioneering ads 60 days before an election.

A handful of conservative businessmen would not be allowed to make large contributions to Reagan’s campaign — they would be restricted to donating only $2,300 per person.

Under today’s laws, Tuttle would have had to go to Reagan and say: “We would like you to run for governor. You are limited to raising money $300 at a time (roughly the current limits in 1965 dollars), so you will have to do nothing but hold fundraisers every day of your life for the next five years in order to run in the 1970 gubernatorial election, since there clearly there isn’t enough time to raise money for the 1966 election.”

Also, Tuttle would have to tell Reagan: “We are not allowed to coordinate with you, so you’re on your own. But wait — it gets worse! After five years of attending rubber chicken dinners every single day in order to raise money in tiny increments, you will probably lose the election anyway because campaign-finance laws make it virtually impossible to unseat an incumbent.

“Oh, and one more thing: Did you ever kiss a girl in high school? Not even once? If not, then this plan might appeal to you!”

Obviously, Reagan would have returned to his original answer: No thanks.

Reagan loved giving speeches and taking questions from voters. The one part of campaigning Reagan loathed was raising money. Thanks to our campaign-finance laws, fundraising is the single most important job of a political candidate today.

This is why you will cast your eyes about the nation in vain for another Reagan sitting in any governor’s mansion or U.S. Senate seat. Pro-lifers like to ask, “How many Einsteins have we lost to abortion?” I ask: How many Reagans have we lost to campaign-finance reform?

The campaign-finance laws basically restrict choice political jobs, like senator and governor — and thus president — to:

(1) Men who were fatties in high school and consequently are willing to submit to the hell of running for office to compensate for their unhappy adolescences — like Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. (Somewhere in this great land of ours, even as we speak, the next Bill Clinton is waddling back to the cafeteria service line asking for seconds.)

(2) Billionaires and near-billionaires — like Jon Corzine, Steve Forbes, Michael Bloomberg and Mitt Romney — who can fund their own campaigns (these aren’t necessarily sociopaths, but it certainly limits the pool of candidates).

(3) Celebrities and name-brand candidates — like Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Bush, Giuliani and Hillary Clinton (which explains the nation’s apparent adoration for Bushes and Clintons — they’ve got name recognition, a valuable commodity amidst totalitarian restrictions on free speech).

(4) Mainstream media-anointed candidates, like John McCain and B. Hussein Obama.

What a bizarre coincidence that a few years after the most draconian campaign-finance laws were imposed via McCain-Feingold, our two front-runners happen to be the media’s picks! It’s uncanny — almost as if by design! (Can I stop now, or do you people get sarcasm?)

By prohibiting speech by anyone else, the campaign-finance laws have vastly magnified the power of the media — which, by the way, are wholly exempt from speech restrictions under campaign-finance laws. The New York Times doesn’t have to buy ad time to promote a politician; it just has to call McCain a “maverick” 1 billion times a year.

It is because of campaign-finance laws like McCain-Feingold that big men don’t run for office anymore. Little men do. And John McCain is the head homunculus.

You want Reagan back? Restore the right to free speech, and you will have created the conditions that allowed Reagan to run.

Politics 102

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

For an idea of how left-leaning socialists see their role in government, check out this article in today’s New York Times.

Don’t you just love political elitism? Don’t you just want to be a part of the ruling class? Oh God, I wish I could get in the club…

Here’s my favorite part: “The issues party leaders are grappling with, they said, include how to avoid the perception of a back-room deal that thwarts the will of millions of voters” (emphasis mine). It appears that Party (capital P) leaders don’t want to avoid a back-room deal — they only want to avoid the perception of one.

Has anyone taken the time to review how the democrat primary process works? I doubt it…that would require effort that would burst the Kool-Aid induced bubble of socialist euphoria. If the tone of that last sentence seems a bit harsh, rest assured that it is — deliberately. If one supports a particular party or candidate, and one doesn’t have a clue as to what that candidate or party stands for, or how that party operates, then it is fair to be harsh.

Let’s just leave it at this: the rules allow for the entire primary voting process to be made into a sham. “Super-delegates” and in some cases, delegates, can do just about anything they choose. And as our last look at this charade made clear, this issue is not lost on the candidates (who are pumping campaign dollars into the delegate coffers).

Nice, isn’t it? If you and I pay off the government clerk to do something quickly for us, we face potential jail time. But our “leaders” can buy off delegate votes with individual campaign contributions.

Ahhhh…the smell of hypocrisy in the morning…

Politics 101

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Is this even representative of a republic?

Take some time to learn more about how the primary process works on the democrat side of the aisle.  I’m not advocating the republican method (I think both primary systems suck), but the democrats have really managed to butcher the process.

Look for lawsuits out the whazoo as the primary season comes to a close.  This time, it won’t be Bush v. Gore — it’ll be Clinton v. Obama.  And here’s the perfect part: one side is going to hijack the winning arguments presented before the Supreme Court by the Bush team.

Isn’t life grand?

Check this out for a preview of just a small part of the basis for litigation:

Superdelegates get campaign cash
Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor February 14, 2008 03:54 PM

Many of the superdelegates who could well decide the Democratic presidential nominee have already been plied with campaign contributions by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a new study shows.

“While it would be unseemly for the candidates to hand out thousands of dollars to primary voters, or to the delegates pledged to represent the will of those voters, elected officials serving as superdelegates have received about $890,000 from Obama and Clinton in the form of campaign contributions over the last three years,” the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reported today.

About half the 800 superdelegates — elected officials, party leaders, and others — have committed to either Clinton or Obama, though they can change their minds until the convention.

Obama’s political action committee has doled out more than $694,000 to superdelegates since 2005, the study found, and of the 81 who had announced their support for Obama, 34 had received donations totaling $228,000.

Clinton’s political action committee has distributed about $195,000 to superdelegates, and only 13 of the 109 who had announced for her have received money, totaling about $95,000.