Friday, September 16, 2005

A Real Slugfest

Clive Davies has comments from people who were in attendance at the big debate between far, far left British politician George Galloway and just plain far left-wing British journalist Christopher Hitchens in New York the other night. Some of the commentators remarked about the crowd's responses. Unsurprisingly, some of the Galloway supporters were notable for their abominable rudeness in general and for this reaction in particular. It is as incredible as it is disgusting:

The guys behind us, greying, rumpled academic types, were definitely Galloway dittoheads. Some were downright rabid. When Hitchens requested a moment of silence for the Iraqis who were sadistically murdered by the insurgency, they were among those shouting "NO! NO!" When Hitch praised the US for making life better for the Afghan people, they shouted "Who cares?"

Well, of course lefties, or at least these representatives of it, don't care about the plight of real people. How else to explain the left's indifference to the atrocities committed by communist governments throughout the twentieth century that resulted in the deaths of over 100 million people and the suffering of untold millions more. The misery continues today in the gulags of China, North Korea and Cuba, but if the left has ever expressed any outrage about these awful abuses the sound of their protest hasn't carried to our ears.

Another member of the audience, himself a man of the left, makes this observation:

I've got lots of mates on the left... who are democratic and civil in the best sense, highly attentive to what other people say and respecting someone else's right to disagree and to say so. But tonight demonstrated that some on the hard left, the ones who congratulate themselves that they are not evangelical fundamentalists, and who tell themselves that they are the more sophisticated, more nuanced ones, are the ones who turn out to be the most intolerant, the most intimidatory and the most anti-democratic in their attitude to debate. And in their tactics. They turned up not to hear and engage, but to shout down people who disagree. Because, you see, they are so, so right that there isn't time for this messy dialogue thing.

For a more detailed report on the debate read Alex Massie's column at National Review Online. According to Massie the vitriol flowed freely between the two antagonists, making the debate a contest to see who could deliver the most cleverly devastating insult.

For example, Massie writes:

Citing Hitchens's transformation from an opponent of the 1991 Gulf War to an ardent supporter of regime change in Iraq now, Galloway claimed that "What you have witnessed is something unique in natural history - the first ever metamorphosis of a butterfly back into a slug" and that "the one thing a slug leaves behind it is a trail of slime." Later, Galloway accused his opponent of "Goebellian" tactics and asked, "are there any depths to which you will not sink? You've fallen out of the gutter and into the sewer."

Sounds like it was a lively, if not a particularly edifying, evening.

One Toke (At Least) Over the Line

Matt Drudge has this from the woman the left has been promoting as a typical mom and anti-war spokesperson:

Celebrity anti-war protester, fresh off inking a lucrative deal with Speaker's Bureau, has demanded at the HUFFINGTON POST and MICHAEL MOORE'S website that the United States military must immediately leave 'occupied' New Orleans.

"I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes: if a human being is hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power. The only way America will become more secure is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest."

Sheehan is in the middle of a bus trip across America in support of her cause.

"Occupied New Orleans"? We think the left should find a few more spokespersons like Ms Sheehan to champion their cause.

The President's Speech

President Bush was magisterial last night, instructing the nation by example on the meaning of the term compassionate conservatism. Those who have been seeking to label the President a right-wing conservative will find themselves flummoxed by George Bush's FDR/LBJ style rhetoric and program. Those conservatives who fear the president has slipped over to the liberal dark side should take note of his emphasis on enterprise zones, home ownership, and the role of the private sector in rehabilitating the Gulf coast.

His critics will charge that he has completely abandoned his small government conservatism, but the allegation is baseless. In the first place, Bush has never been fiscally conservative. In the second, his conservative principles, upon which he campaigned, do not exclude the sort of projects upon which so much of his spending has been lavished. Dick Morris noted last night that George Bush's basic principle is that the federal government has essentially two major roles: To fight wars and to provide relief in disaster. He is one of the few presidents to have occasion to employ government assets in the service of both. Carrying out these functions costs money and Bush is not loath to spend it in order to insure their success. Nor is he violating his principles in so doing. Conservatives are complaining about the spending, but Bush is going to do what he thinks is right for people even if it antagonizes his base.

One of the indirect consequences of Bush's reconstruction program may well be a political realignment that lasts for a generation or longer. When minorities see exactly who their champion is, when they see that under Democratic leadership for sixty years they simply sank, like New Orleans steadily sinking deeper below sea level, deeper into poverty, there is a chance that blacks will migrate in large numbers to the Republican party and consign the Democrats to permanent political minority status. Even the most tight-fisted conservative might acknowledge that this happy outcome would be worth a decade or so of deficit spending.

Viewpoint predicts that Bush's approval ratings are going to commence a long steady rise throughout the next year, much to the chagrin of the lefties, to above 50%. Furthermore, if Iraq ratifies a constitution and appears to be holding together, and oil prices moderate, Bush may conclude his presidency at well over 60%.

The text of his speech can be found here.