April 26, 2008 - April 19, 2008
Monday, April 02, 2007
The Case for Fred
. Today, Robert
is reporting that Fred Thompson is indeed serious about
running for president. He says, among other things:
In just three weeks, Fred Thompson has
improbably transformed the contest for the Republican presidential
nomination. It is not merely that he has come from nowhere to double
digits in national polls. He is the talk of GOP political circles,
because he is filling the conservative void in the Republican field....
His statement to Wallace that he was ''giving some thought'' to a
presidential run generated a reaction that surprised Thompson. In the
first Gallup Poll that listed Thompson (March 23-25), he scored 12
percent -- amazing for someone out of public life for more than four
Thompson's political origin as a protege of Sen. Howard Baker, leader
of the Tennessee GOP's more liberal wing, prompted hard-line Senate
conservatives to consider him a little too liberal. Actually, his
lifetime Senate voting record as measured by the American Conservative
Union was 86 percent....
The principal complaint about Thompson concerns his work ethic. The rap
is that he does not burn the midnight oil -- the identical criticism of
Reagan, before and during his presidency. That carping may betray
resentment that Thompson has emerged as a full-blown candidate without
backbreaking campaign travel and tedious fund-raising...
I'm sure the political experts will now perform their usual routine of
combing through the trivia of Fred Thompson's life -- his two terms in
the U.S. Senate, his voting record, his policy positions, his
experience as legal counsel in the Watergate investigation, etc. But
this is America, and we the people have our own ways of assessing
candidates like Mr. Thompson. Forget all that boring inside-the-beltway
crap. What is it we can really know about this guy's qualifications and
executive potential? Plenty. Here are some of the basics, plus a few
unanswered questions we can all research in the weeks and months ahead:
. Two terms -- 109
episodes! -- as DA of New York City on Law and Order
. That's not even
counting the midnight oil he burned on Law and Order: Trial by Jury
(13 episodes), Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
(11 episodes), and Law and Order: Criminal Intent
(2 episodes). His record on successful prosecutions is, by my count,
well above 90 percent. Not even Rudy Giuliani can compete with that.
And he's no Nancy Grace, either. Before becoming district attorney, he
was a brilliantly successful defense attorney named Racehorse Haines (Bed of Lies
), who was famous
for never losing a case.
. None of the
other candidates in either party can measure up in this category. He
served as a U.S. Army captain (Flight of the Intruder
major general (Fat Man and Little Boy
) in WWII
, as a lieutenant colonel in Vietnam (China Beach
), and as a rear
admiral in the U.S. Navy (Red October
) during the Cold
War. Where else could we find a candidate who has been a senior officer
in two different branches of the service? Nowhere.
of the CIA (No Way Out
Law Enforcement Career
served both as a police detective (Stay the Night
) and as an FBI
special agent (Baby's Day Out
. U.S. Senator (Born Yesterday
), White House
Chief of Staff (In the Line of Fire
President of the United States (Last Best Chance
more than the two Clintons put together can offer.
. Chief of
research & development -- with a PhD. no less -- for a major U.S.
auto manufacturer (Class Action
). He also
participated in a gigantic hostile takeover of RJ Reynolds (Barbarians at the Gate
that, he was chief of operations for the Dulles International Airport (Die Hard 2
) in Washington, DC.
He also had some experience as a business entrepreneur (White Sands
The executive who presides over the U.S. government has to be calm and
intelligent in crises, and he has to have the ability to work with a
huge variety of officials and citizens from every discipline, level,
and walk of life. It's hard to imagine a candidate with better
credentials of this sort than Fred Thompson. The list above
demonstrates that he's worked, and succeeded, in virtually every kind
of profession. He's also shown -- particularly in his terms as district
attorney -- that he can get along with people of every gender, race,
and ethnic background, including obnoxious, humorless feminists and the
flaming lefties who write and star in Law
. If you can be nonpartisan in that crowd, you
can be nonpartisan anywhere. Moreover, he's proved beyond doubt that he
reacts spectacularly well in a crisis. Faced with a ballooning terror
plot in Die Hard 2
recognized almost immediately -- when no one else did -- that the only
solution was to put blind faith in Bruce Willis. How many of us would
have done the same? Well, okay, all of us, but that's only because we
already saw Die Hard 1
Fred's character obviously wouldn't have. So you can see how smart he
had to be.
All in all, we'd have to rate his executive potential as A+++.
You know how politics is. No matter how sterling your credentials and
evident character, the opposition and the mainstream press (i.e., the
opposition) will work tirelessly to uncover any possible hint of
scandal or personal wrongdoing. That's where you guys come in. There
are some potentially serious questions that will be asked about Fred
Thompson, and his campaign needs you to come up with plausible answers.
(No one here knows the answers because that would mean watching all the
episodes and movies, which would be a lot like real work.) If you
don't, he'll be destroyed as surely as McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and
all the other declared GOP candidates are certain to be.
Here are the questions. (Don't show this list to your liberal
1. Didn't Fred fire a female assistant prosecutor on Law and Order
? Was he being sexist
2. Was he being kind of corrupt during his senate term in Born Yesterday
? What's up with that?
3. The White Sands
movie. He was an
arms dealer? Whoa.
4. All those episodes on the Wiseguy
. Was he mixed up in
organized crime somehow? That doesn't sound good. At all.
5. If he finished up as a major general in WWII, why was he busted to
lieutenant colonel in Vietnam? Was it related to his arms dealing or
his mob ties? And is that why he started his military career all over
again in the navy? The whole thing is worrying.
6. Did he really
making an unsafe vehicle because it was cheaper to settle legal claims
than fix a defect in Class Action
It's true that lawyers can be expected to do some dirty things, but
Fred just seems better
that. If there isn't a good answer to this one, his goose is really
cooked. If there's anything the MSM hates more than Republicans it's
hard-hearted corporate executives (i.e., Republicans).
7. Wasn't there a highly placed Soviet mole in the CIA when he was
serving as director? Wasn't it Kevin Costner? How could you miss a
thing like that? Doesn't that raise some basic questions about
Well, that's all for now. Get to work and post your answers here. Fred
will appreciate any help you can provide.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
DC Chumps of the
Semper fi, anyone?
Obviously, this could be a weekly feature, but it's more fun to hold it
in reserve for special occasions. Like now.
You marines may get upset, but as all of you would probably admit -- at
least over drinks -- there are
marines who are bullies and self-centered pricks. That's evidently the
case with Senator James Webb of Virginia. His public tantrum about
wanting to punch the President for inquiring about Webb junior's
welfare in Iraq was an alarm signal. So was his haughty and needlessly
bellicose interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. He also
suffers from the unfortunate facial anomaly that at rest, his mouth
defaults to a sullen sneer. I won't mention the Nixonian eyes. All this
admittedly sketchy evidence made me suspect that he might be wrapped
too tight and not quite as admirable in person as his resume would
Now we know. He's a crumb. Not for carrying loaded weapons around, but
for throwing a faithful friend overboard in his hour of need. The gun
Webb has not yet officially admitted he owns landed longtime aide and
fellow vet Philip Thompson in a DC jail overnight. Where was the former
marine officer with loads of DC clout to show up at the police station,
roust a judge out of bed for a bail hearing, and get his buddy back
home where he belonged? Not there. At the very moment his friend was
being arraigned on felony charges in court the next day, Webb was
giving a guarded, self-serving press conference at the Capitol building.
I don't need to know any more about James Webb than that.
There's less to say about Chuck Hagel. He just conspired with the
congessional Democrats in their desperately urgent attempt to lose the
war in Iraq before the President, Petraeus, and the U.S. military can
bring off the unexpected disaster of victory. I've noted previously
that Republicans are stupid
but this Hagel character has to be the stupidest of all. He actually
thinks he has a shot at the Republican presidential nomination. Let me
repeat that. He actually thinks he
has a shot at the Republican presidential nomination.
After single-handedly torpedoing his President's most crucial war-time
policy stance -- not giving the enemy a U.S. surrender date -- he
shouldn't be able to win the senate primary in his own state, and he
certainly won't budge the needle off zero in any Republican
He's a stone loser, in every sense of the term, and if Nebraska
Republicans had any character they'd mount an immediate petition drive
for a recall election. They won't do it, of course, but if Hagel reads
his email today, I expect he'll still get the drift.
Check that. He's too damn dumb to get anything ever.
CALLING ALL COMPUTER
It's just art -- see
. At the end of February, I proposed a challenge
to the more skilled searchers of the Internet to measure the difference
between the use of cursewords in blogs by lefties and righties. I
offered criteria -- Carlin's seven dirty words -- I believed amenable
to search engines. Those who remember or review my original
challenge will be aware that the catalyst was not cursewords per se,
but the flood of lefty blog posts and comments wishing a swift and
painful death on Vice President Cheney after his last health crisis.
(There was a precedent case for this: the lefty response to Laura
.) I didn't think at the time that this sort of
human indecency could be measured on the Internet, so I proposed a
substitute in the belief that extreme rhetoric in a tangible,
measurable area might also inform us about the incidence of extreme
rhetoric in intangible areas such as the response to a political
opponent's ill health. The response
to that challenge was quick and overwhelming:. the left is
quantitatively more foul-mouthed
than the right.
Since then, I've observed that some perseverant lefties continue
seeking ways of chipping away at the findings of those who answered my
challenge. I haven't kept the links (sorry!) but enough
additional searches have been performed by now for the purpose of
defending the Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, et al, that I must
conclude they were bothered by the initial findings. Still, all they've
managed to date is to build dubious arguments for reducing the ratio by
which lefty cussing exceeds righty cussing, not for reversing the
In recent days, a lot of new evidence has become available on the
original prompt for my curiosity. The Elizabeth Edwards announcement.
The Tony Snow announcement. And less known but even more sadly, the fact
of conservative blogger Cathy
Seipp's death from cancer. Not as dire but just as disturbing has been
the experience of an apparently nonpolitical blogger named Kathy
Sierra, who is now living in fear because of death threats over the
Internet. (I remember but won't reference the equally scary instance of
Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein with an Internet stalker who threatened
his children because of Goldstein's conservative views.)
My challenge to the technically superior in these matters is to find
some means of assessing the left vs. right responses to the past
month's news about Elizabeth Edwards, Tony Snow, Cathy Seipp, and Kathy
Here are some links and info to jump-start your research:
: My own post
critical of John Edwards, supplemented with a round-up
linked by a commenter
at this site who apparently thought I hadn't done my research.
. The first word I
heard after the announcement itself was that the Huffington Post had a priori
disabled comments on its
announcement of the recurrence of his disease. (Why? Huh.) Then came this
from Little Green Footballs.
. To his credit,
Glenn Reynolds has used his talent for terseness to maximum effect in this entry
. If anyone
understands Internet threats and abuse (sexual & physical), it's Michelle Malkin the Brave. She
proves it again here
but with some qualifications.
The lefties who criticized the first challenge tried first to disprove
the quantitative findings. Then they fell back on the argument that
there's nothing wrong with using foul language in the pursuit of
passionate political convictions. What would they fall back on if the
obvious fact can be proved -- that they, in all their enlightened
tolerance, wish death and suffering upon their opponents far more than
heartless conservatives ever do?
Are you curious? Then find a way to prove it, dammit.
Yet again, thanks to the incomparable Wuzzadem for the link. Even if
you have nothing to contribute to this challenge, you have
to go see what Mr. and Mrs.
Wuzzadem are up to right now, including their entries on the pet
, plus the solid-gold discovery
of a conservative voice so brilliant that it recalls the history-making
speech Ronald Reagan made on behalf of the Goldwater presidential
campaign. In fact, Evan Sayet is so astonishingly on-target that we'll devote a post strictly to him when we've assembled the necessary,
relevant links to our own past meditations on the state of the
contemporary liberal mind. It's possible we'll be nominating Mr. Sayet
to run for President. He's that good.
Here's our honest assessment. If you had to choose between InstaPunk
and the blog of Mr. and Mrs. Wuzzadem, in all good conscience we'd have
to tell you to pick Wuzzadem. They rule.