10 August 2006

The Poster Boy of the Shallow Left

In a sense, I am not interested in the story that has dominated the media next to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. After all, who cares what happens in a Democratic primary in a distant state? As a conservative one may well argue that Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman are—to use a vernacular expression—“the same difference.” And they are for the most part. As Senator Lieberman reminded us in his appearance on PBS’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer after he lost the primary, he has a very liberal voting record on taxes, environmental policy and social security reform, to name but a few issues. In other words, Lamont or Lieberman will make little difference in many respects.

Yet, on the other hand, the fact that Connecticut Democrats selected Lamont, a prime representative of the Shallow Left, to represent their party on the November ballot indicates that the party as a whole is being tugged very much to the nutty left by what The Weekly Standard refers to as the “nutroots.” The involvement of organizations like The Daily Kos, popular stomping ground for left-wing pseudo-intellectuals, can hardly be overestimated.

The Connecticut primary was defaced by unfair and ad hominem attacks against Sen. Lieberman. Considering the heavy anti-Lieberman involvement from powerful liberal interest groups and their adept use of the always complicit liberal media, this primary was, as an election, much more of a sham than the last two general elections, which Democrats and other liberal movers love to refer to as a “stolen election.” Rather than a primary on the question which Democrat could best represent Connecticut, the Kos crowd turned it into a lynch party for Lieberman. Not the candidates’ platform counted, but the fact that Lieberman needed to be punished for his support for the War in Iraq.

Conservative commentators have been raising their eyebrows about this one for a while now. None of them—myself included—have a great liking for Lieberman. He is the wrong man to represent Connecticut because he goes in for what Senator Rick Santorum in his book It Takes a Family calls No-Fault Freedom.

Lamont is decidedly worse, even if only for the signal it sends to the national Democratic party. The selection of Ned Lamont is a coup by the Loonie Left which is finally trying to take the party. If even avowed liberals like Lieberman are considered too moderate by that crowd, one can only shudder what direction the Democratic Party is going in.

In addition, of course, Lamont represents the cut-and-run policy of those intellectually shallow Democrats who had rather win congressional seats by bringing back loved ones from the battlefield than listen to military experts and do what is necessary to extinguish a growing forest fire in the Middle East. Yes, Iraq is burning, but fires that are not put out tend to spread. Bringing the boys back now may be better for the boys and the families in the short run but will certainly—without a doubt—lead to more casualties in the medium and long-distance future.

So what are the consequences of Lieberman running as an Independent? Democratic Party officials are probably justified in their fears that Lieberman will take votes from Lamont and thus increase the chance that the Republican candidate will take Lieberman’s seat. But that is definitely not a given. The idea of a Republican carrying Connecticut is somewhat unlikely. Connecticut is firmly blue and will almost certainly stay blue.

Lieberman stands a chance, if those voters who did not go out to the primary show up and decide to prefer him over Lamont after all. Although I care for neither of these two, and would advise all conservatives to vote for the appropriate conservative candidate—even if he has no chance of being elected, such as third-party candidates—, it is imperative that Lamont not be elevated to a place where he can do great damage as the puppet of the Loonie Left. Even electing Lieberman would be a powerful rebuke to that dastardly group of conspirators.

02 August 2006

The Crucifixion of Mel Gibson

Hollywood is outraged over Mel Gibson’s behavior. The orthodox Roman Catholic actor, already ostracized for his independent production of The Passion of the Christ, was arrested this past week for drunk driving. But what outraged the politically correct Left Coast Hollywood establishment even more was Mr Gibson’s anti-Semitic statements during his arrest. Together with what they consider the anti-Semitic nature of The Passion, Mr Gibson is now branded an anti-Semite. The media are talking of serious repercussions for the actor, such as becoming ineligible for awards.

I am the last one in the world to condone either the drunk driving or the anti-Semitic remarks, but it seems that Hollywood is a little too trigger happy here. Mr Gibson admits his bad behavior and is repentant. He does not deny his anti-Semitic remarks but has given the very plausible remark that the booze was doing the talking and that he disgraced his family by “saying things he does not believe to be true.”

Mr Gibson will be punished for the drunk driving by the proper authorities. Let’s not call for the public crucifixion of a drunk man merely on basis of the incoherent statements made by him in that state of intoxication, no matter how offensive they may have been. I certainly do not believe that we can now somehow piece together evidence that proves Mel Gibson is a congenital anti-Semite. All the arguments I have heard in favor of that proposal were based on the notion that The Passion of the Christ was offensive to Jews because it portrayed the Jews as guilty for Christ’s crucifixion.

I have not seen the movie (out of principle: I consider visual portrayals of God the Son as a violation of the second commandment), but neither have most of Mr Gibson’s accusers. Yet reading the New Testament account, I can only come to the conclusion that while the Romans did the actual crucifying, the Jewish crowd forced Pontius Pilate’s hand even while he was ready to acquit Jesus. Surely, it would not be disingenuous to attach some guilt to that behavior? That means that Mr Gibson’s portrayal of the events—at least in this respect—is merely biblical and factual and can lead to no conclusions about his personal views. Unless one wanted to accuse all Christians of being anti-Semites? Ah, there’s the rub with Hollywood liberals.