I thought the GOP was the dumb party

I know that Democrats and members of the left are supposed to be our intellectual betters, and that those of us center or center-right are all “knuckledragging neanderthals” (Ted Kennedy, circa 2002) but the Dems seem to be making some very dumb unforced errors, heading into the Fourth of July Weekend and their National Convention:

1) Only Fox News reported positive news from Iraq. Because God forbid we should hear it (and think well of our troops) as we head into Fourth of July! The left-leaning members of the mainstream press cannot abide giving you good news about Iraq, or our troops, because you might start to think well (gasp) of all America has accomplished there. They’d rather ignore it, and they assume the rest of us don’t care, because “no one they know” cares.

This is why the general public hates the press more than either Congress or President Bush.

2) This fellow more or less makes my point. America is certainly imperfect, but there is much to be proud of…but not for this fellow. He says focus only on the negatives and spew as much hate as possible. Sing a dirge. Beat the breast. Baaaad, bad, America. Now, don’t forget to vote for the Democrat!

Coming into a Fourth of July weekend when Americans say they feel safer than anytime since 9/11, this writer did not do his cause or his candidate much good.

3) The newly freed, newly Democratic, newly empowered Iraqis understand and appreciate America (and her troops, and her president) much more fully than the insulated clubby members of the press – and that’s becoming difficult not to notice.

4) Again recalling that we’re heading into the Fourth of July (and a Democratic Convention) I wonder how many Iraqis, if invited to sing the Star Spangled Banner with us, would decide to just change it all around to express their own personal feelings. They’d be free to do so, because this is (currently) a free nation. But I bet that Iraqis – who know what it means to live under tyranny, and who do not yet take liberty for granted as so many Americans do – would never in a million years presume to do it. This Democrat woman, singing for Democrats, has a nice voice, I’d like to hear her sing something else, but frankly, most Americans will likely prefer their National Anthem straight up, no chaser.

If you are a political party, and you want the other half of the nation to trust you and to put your people in office, you don’t ignore positive news from the war front, you don’t tell people to feel badly about themselves and their nation and you don’t publicly change the words to the National Anthem because you feel like it. I mean, this is just basic common-sense stuff.

More common sense advice on what candidates and political parties “ought not to do” during this patriotic weekend, or as you head to your convention:

Don’t let your candidate be caught flip-flopping like a landed fish in the hot sun on issue after issue. It makes him seem rather weak and inauthentic.

BUT! (And this is a biggie) Don’t cleanse and sterilize web sites (or get others to do so) in order to sanitize or protect the candidate. It makes people think of names like Nikita, Boris and Vladimir, which are rather cool names, but…they have a disturbing pedigree.

When your candidate makes the inevitable step-center after fooling the extremist base, tell him not to do it in giant leaps. It makes his base nervous, and it suggests that he has almost no scruples at all. In other words, it does not persuade. And the other side calls him the successor to George W. Bush, which you cannot like.

When you hear that your nation is winning a war, don’t say “if we’d surrendered, we’d have won it even better!” A little fair-minded praise would actually make you seem reasonable, grown-up and even statesmanlike, and not like some putzes on a hate-trip!

Try to choose candidates with no connections to people who like to blow stuff up!

Try to admit when the stuff your candidate did earlier failed. You can’t dress up the pig. If he owned a baseball team and it failed, it failed. If he put together low-income housing and the project failed, it failed. Truth is humility. It’s also a lot quicker to move on from.

Try to pay your convention bills in a timely manner. It makes people believe you can run economies.

Don’t let your candidate make a defensive-sounding speech about how patriotic he is. If you have to say it, you’re not convincing. And yes, it matters.

Try to choose a candidates with no connections to money-lender issues when some Americans are losing their homes due to less-attractive mortgage deals.

Try not to keep reminding voters that your opponent is a war veteran who was tortured and held captive for five years, and then saying it’s no big deal. Just don’t. Partly because it keeps people talking about it, and because it also makes all of you look very small.

Try to happily and manfully acknowledge, when terrorists have been defeated and hostages released, the good work of the troops, the CIC and the foreign government who assisted in victory. Again, it’s about seeming grown-up and aware of the dangers of our times. It might also reassure voters that they can feel as safe under new leadership as they feel right now.

Try to be consistent. If you disliked faith-based initiatives under President Bush and found them a troubling commingling of church and state, don’t start liking them under someone just because he has a D after his name. It’s just too opportunistic, and politics is vulgar enough. Also, be aware that a faith-based initiatives that requires leaving out the faith part is not a faith-based initiative; it is a flim-flam.

Try not to let your candidate accuse a reverend of “just making stuff up”, especially when he’s had his own “reverend” problems. It makes people want to look more closely, at what everyone really did say. Also, crossing swords with a reverend is clumsy if one is not proficient. It just reminds people of Jesus, double-edged swords, and how much the Christ might lack sympathy for one’s all-abortion-all-the-time plank.

Try to remember that welfare reform measures take some gumption, and that even presidents who undertake it don’t get much recognition for it from their own party.

Try to rein in the giddy press. All their gushing, all their softball questions make you look like your candidate can’t take a punch and that his party won’t let them throw one. As we’ve seen the past 8 years, a president needs to be able to roll with punches.

Try not to project so much. Try to make prominent party members sound less like big cans of crazy. Save all that for group therapy.

Take the right side of this case. We owe the UN nothing, and an alliance with a strong, healthy Iraq is good for us.

Finally: Don’t pretend that this mush-headed, hypersensitive, passive-aggressive nonsense hasn’t been right up your alley these past 30 years. Try to change that. It’s tiring. And we really don’t want what it leads to.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    I am still spitting mad about replacing the NATIONAL ANTHEM with some moronic feel-good bull-crit song.

    My grandfathers, my father, my uncles, my husband, my brother and myself did NOT risk our lives for some bull*****t “black national anthem– we risked it for AMERICANS.

    Black, white, brown, yellow, whatever the bloody color you are, NOT so some idiot can substitute their moronic psudo anthem!

    Thank God I was not there, because I would probably be in jail for disturbing the peace.

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  • gs

    All true, Anchoress, but the GOP bumbled for over ten years before the voters finally got fed up in 2006.

    The Democratic Congress seems somewhat worse than the Republican one, but that perception may be a matter of my political orientation.

    What really scares me is that the Republicans made no move to clean up their act after 2006. A defining moment was when they restored Trent Lott to their Senate leadership. Apparently they’re going to continue business as usual and wait until the public gets disgusted with the Democrats. If that happens, then I suppose the Democrats will do the same.

    If such governance continues, the country will not survive–anyway, not in its present form, not as a democracy.

  • igout

    I’m with Foxfier. I am fast getting fed up with these @ssholes. What’s the classic cowboy movie line? “This town ain’t big enough fer…”

  • Piano Girl

    BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sam L.

    Sorry, this is an obligatory “use of apostrophes” post. It’s “Iraqis” as plural form, not “Iraqi’s” (possessive form). “It’s” is a contraction of “it is”. “Its” is the possessive for “it”, unlike the form for “Joe’s”. English grammar, a bane on our usage.
    (I got a double dose of grammar in 9th grade–my teacher had the same 7th-grade English teacher in the same school.)

    Great post, though.

  • http://www.rosaryarmy.com Crusader.Airman


    We sorely need to return to a Classical education in our schools…the foundations of our civilization are Greek and Roman. When our public schools and later our Catholic schools abandoned our civilizational roots in the the 1970s, we began the slow decline of our civilization. Only an appreciation for Sparta, Athens, and Rome…with a healthy respect for our American forebears…will save us from self-inflicted nihilistic suicide.

    The Democrats are in the forefront of this civilizational suicide…if they get their way, and elect their candidates, then the end is not inevitable, but much harder to hold back.

    Pray the rosary!

  • TheAnchoress

    Granny – Never assume that because I’ve singled out the Dems here, I am blind to the stupidity of the GOP. I believe in my “Dumb GOP moves” category there are some pretty hot critiques! I wouldn’t give tuppence to either gang right now, and polls seem to indicate that most people are pretty disgusted.

    Sam L – thanks for the heads ups…I am dealing with a bout of insomnia that seems to be taking its toll on my spelling and grammar. I’ll fix!

  • orlin

    Great post Anchoress and a Happy 4th to all — Stand-up and salute a vet!

  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    This is simply a superb post! I don’t know how you manage to do it day in and day out, but you can put in links and tell a story from top to bottom even in a long post. I envy your talent! :)

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  • TheAnchoress

    Thank you, J – I take it as high praise from another great blogger!

  • Sigmund Carl and Alfred

    This post is like a Triple Whopper, Super Big Gulp, Mega Fries and a triple Espresso triple everything- all at a single sitting.

    Clearly, our hostess is concerned that 400 of the 600 Starbucks slated for closure are in her neighborhood and she is determined to have as much caffeine as possible while she still can (I get away saying this stuff because of the accent).

    Anyway, top drawer stuff.

    See this too, from Der Speigel, on the good news coming out of Iraq. It seems the Euro press hacks are doing a better job reporting the good news out of Iraq than our homegrown hacks.


  • Terrye

    Very good post. And you know something? The Republicans are not perfect, but as a general rule, they don’t root for th enemy. In fact right now the GOP needs to stop the constant finger pointing and backstabbing and come together to defeat Barack Obama this fall.

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  • rcareaga

    Regarding point 2, the fellow who “more or less makes [your] point” — he is, after all, talking about torture. Don’t you think that a certain, ah, shrillness might be, if not actually called for, at least understandable?

    What about this fellow?

    Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms- of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

    Leftist America hater? How might you respond to a blog post or newspaper column indicting US “enhanced interrogation” practices in these terms? Tell me honestly, now (even though your antennae will be quite properly sensitive to a historical trap), and then google the source and wonder why such a level of invective might have been appropriate to a condemnation of US practices in the X administration, but is merely “spew[ing] as much hate as possible” in discussing George II.


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  • TheAnchoress

    Rand – Insomnia having it’s way with me, I am not even entirely sure I understand your question, but let me turn the thing around and see if you agree with me that his post is extreme:

    “Don’t celebrate Fourth of July, take down the flags, America is bad and vile and we have nothing to celebrate, because we torture the innocent and rob them of their humanity. We do this by shoving scissors into the backs of the skulls of partially delivered infants, then sucking out brains before completing the delivery, so that we can call it a “late term” abortion instead of infanticide, which would be too vile, too evil and too inhumane and depraved of us to admit to.”

    The thing is, you can make your argument about torture of people who would like to kill us, I could make the argument about the torture of innocence…but I (and the folks who may think like me) are not the ones writing columns decrying the vile nation, finding nothing good to say about it, and pinning all of the woes of the world on one person – which in this climate is easy, not brave. But if any one of us HAD made that argument, I would bet you’d find it offensive. And extreme.

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  • GreggLD

    Foxflier, let’s be accurate. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is not a “moronic feel good bull-crit song.” It’s an old, meaningful, and beautiful song. It was wrong for this woman to sing a different song than she had agreed to sing, and calling it the “black national anthem” is wrong as well. THESE are the issues, not that the song in question was some “moronic feel good bull-crit song.”

  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    GreggLD -
    You want to defend the “Black National Anthem,” go for it–by the way, having risked my life for the song she decided wasn’t good enough, in favor of what IS commonly called “The Black National Anthem,” and having read the text of the song, I stand by my prior evaluation.

    I do not care that it was written 108 years ago, I do not care that you find it beautiful; it cannot hold a candle in meaning, beauty and symbolisim to the Star Spangled Banner and the fact is that the woman placed her skin color ahead of the nation.

    If you think you are going to your birthday party, and when you get there you are given a piece of cake and nothing else, is it not idiotic for someone to say “why are you mad; don’t you like cake?”

  • Piano Girl

    The original music composed for the words of Lift Every Voice and Sing is beautiful. I’ve performed the music many times in my work as a professional accompanist. Why this woman would want to wreck BOTH pieces (Star Spangled Banner, as well as Lift Every Voice and Sing) is beyond me. The words written by James Weldon Johnson are so special, and I can’t imagine that he and his brother (who wrote the music) would be pleased by what this woman (who doesn’t even sing all that well, IMHO) did to their music and words. And while I’m on my little rant, most people who are asked to perform our National Anthem don’t sing it well enough to be heard in public, and this includes pop singers who massacre the music with their “special” renditions. When done correctly, the piece moves me to tears every time I hear it.

  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    Piano Girl -
    I’m a big fan of simple, traditional versions of SSB myself.

  • Rose J.

    As the American flag waves in our front yard today,
    one breathes a sigh of wholehearted gratefulness for everything. I do sigh too.

    I wanted to speak with my heart, and not be flippant. With politics this is hard to do these days…

    We can write and say what we think. And you, dear one, are helping to gather the “like minds and hearts”. This is the first step to revolutional change in our culture and country after kneeling to our God and invoking the Holy Spirit; and praying the Rosary for peace in the world.

    Just like Jesus, you are not afraid to speak the truth. You help us by your very words in that we who feel the same way are not alone. And I feel that this is very important in this country and in this culture-feeling not alone. Many, are now getting on the same page so-to-speak. And we are getting more united than ever through the internet…believe it or not…God must have invented it just for us…because the rascals in the other medias are such bad apples. They want to keep Jesus out of their town, so they can keep their pigs. No clarification needed.

    I see this more and more-it is a beautiful thing: people speaking out, and people speaking with wisdom-freely. I see in the comments many helping the people with only half truth see the truth-helping each other with much charity; as if they can not wait to clarify. I have not seen such wisdom in years, and it is from the people not the leaders-simply amazing! People not taken to lunch by someone with an agenda etc. People who love God, Country, Eachother and The World. Amazing!

    I would not be surprised someday, that there is a comment from the Holy Father on a Blog.

    The children of these people will grow in wisdom too. Look out you weaklings! Your new job will be feeding the p_ _ s until you come home to Father. Yes, and we will say Amen!; and make a place at the table for you. But first, you have to wash your hands.

    I see humor too. People still joyful even in war. Wonderful people who love to blog and share and drink coffee (or tea…that’s me). People who turn the TV off, and who will stay up during the night to write and talk. People who share their wisdom. Charity abounds from these people. They are so full of Wisdom it gushes out of them like a waterfall and a rainbow going through it-beautiful. People not afraid. Nice people. Good people. Great people. The Jesus Generation. He would be proud.

    Imagine St. Paul Blogging.

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