Saturday, September 26, 2009

Democrats’ “out” pitch becoming all too predictable

Successful pitchers have an “out” pitch, something that can be thrown for a strike in a tight situation. It could be something off-speed, like a curveball or sinker. It might be heat, like a slider, cutter, or a fastball that explodes through the strike zone.

The type of pitch really doesn’t matter as much as the pitcher’s confidence that his “stuff” can beat the hitter. But when the out pitch becomes routine the pitcher has a problem. If the out pitch is thrown to the same location in the same situation, time after time, it becomes predictable. Smart hitters adjust and the out pitch becomes ineffective.

Race has been the Democrat Party’s out pitch for as long as I can recall. Whenever facts contradict their emotions, or they lack solid footing for their arguments, they resort to shouting racism. It has worked like a charm for years. Now they’re throwing the race pitch to retire opponents of President Obama’s push toward socialized medicine.

Jimmy Carter has declared that racism, overt or latent, is driving opposition to nationalized healthcare. Carter’s race pitch seeks to accomplish two goals: to raise the specter of racism and provide top Democrats, Obama included, with plausible deniability.

Obama can now deny that racism is driving the opponents of a nationalized healthcare system, which he has done. Yet racism, the Democrats’ out pitch, remains in play. It’s the best of both worlds, isn’t it? No more.

Democrats have so overused the race pitch that it has lost its effectiveness. Empty-headed ideologues lodging equally empty racism charges are no longer intimidating. It has been wantonly abused, without the first fact to substantiate the charge. The Democrats’ out pitch has become a hanging curveball, just begging to be hit out of the park.

Opposition to nationalized healthcare is based on facts, not race. Taxes can be imposed on businesses and individuals whose insurance plans don’t meet government approval. Wording does open the door to extending health insurance to illegal aliens. Fiscal concerns are legitimate. And no one from the White House or Congress has cited the part of the Constitution that allows the central government to provide, manage, or reform health insurance.

If that’s not enough, let’s reverse course and throw the race pitch back at the Democrats, mainly Jimmy Carter.

So, Mr. Carter doesn’t believe that a white person can disagree with a black president on ideology or policy. Thus disagreeing with Obama is pure racism. Well dig in Jimmy. Let’s see if you can hit the race pitch.

Allen West is a candidate for Florida’s District 22 congressional seat. He blames government intervention for our ongoing economic problems and favors tax cuts and reforms. Mr. West is committed to a strong defense and to confronting the Islamic jihad. He fully supports the Second Amendment and domestic oil production while opposing amnesty for illegal aliens.

Mr. Carter, would you vote for Allen West? Would you support him at all? If not, you’re a racist based on your own criterion. Mr. West is black.

Bill Randall is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 13th District. Like West, Mr. Randall supports the individual right to bear arms and a strong military. He considers the federal government fundamentally overbearing and fiscally irresponsible, preferring individual liberty and free markets to tyranny and central planning. Like West, Bill Randall is a black man.

What about J.C. Watts, the former Oklahoma representative? What about Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Herman Cain and Kevin Jackson? Mr. Carter, are you so racist that you can’t support these men simply because all are black?

When a pitcher’s out pitch becomes predictable he must develop a new strategy to survive. Likewise, Democrats should try to develop arguments that aren’t emotionally charged and intellectually vacant. The race pitch has become too easy to hit.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Death can’t deify Ted Kennedy

Decency demands a certain amount of respect for the dead. Therefore, it was appropriate to allow ample time for Ted Kennedy’s family to grieve peaceably. I remember when Jesse Helms died. Hatred rained down on Senator Helms before his body had time to cool. Opponents celebrated his death and hoped for his eternal damnation.

Similarly, conservatives weren’t fans of Sen. Kennedy. But few, if any, conservatives wished him to the fires of hell. Proper etiquette demanded that temporary silence.

That time has passed. Kennedy has been eulogized and grieved. So, unlike many Republicans who’ve fawned over Sen. Kennedy’s 50 years of “public service”, I’ll focus on why Kennedy was so disliked. You could say I’ve come to bury Kennedy, not to praise him. What’s more, this can be accomplished without personal malice, relying solely on his activities. That’s more than the late Sen. Helms received.

Obviously Ted Kennedy won several elections. But how did he gain the Senate seat originally?

JFK opened that seat when he won the presidency in 1960. But Ted was too young to become a Senator. That was a problem for the Kennedy political dynasty. What if someone with an eye toward winning the seat in the next election filled it in the interim? Ted’s career could’ve been over before it began.

As luck would have it, Benjamin Smith--a Kennedy family friend with no political aspirations-- was available to keep the seat warm for Ted. It worked like a charm. Smith stepped out of the way in 1962; Ted won the seat and stayed there for life.

Such a ploy may not be illegal, unethical, or even immoral. But it does smack of the backdoor shenanigans that undermine the electoral process, which means Kennedy played dirty pool.

Friend and foe alike hailed Ted Kennedy as a role model. Perhaps that’s understandable for his friends, who likely share his warped moral view. But I can‘t comprehend why people who oppose the nanny-state that Kennedy championed sang his praises. He was anything but a role model.

“Here we go,” you say, “time to dredge up Chappaquiddick.”

No. I don’t have to mention the C-word at all. Everyone who lives outside of Bin Laden’s cave knows Kennedy couldn’t drive or use a phone. But what about a night at the Kennedy’s Florida compound in 1991?

The Senator woke his son and nephew for a night on the town. When the night was done Kennedy’s nephew, William Kennedy Smith, faced a rape charge. Guilt wasn’t proven and Smith was exonerated. However, rousting two young men from their beds for a night of drinking proved the Senator’s lack of judgment beyond reasonable doubt.

Before his death Sen. Kennedy encouraged the Massachusetts legislature to change the process for selecting his successor. Current law requires a special election to fill a vacant Senate seat. Kennedy supported that law when enacted in 2004 because it would’ve prevented Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, from appointing John Kerry’s replacement had he defeated Bush.

Ted Kennedy lobbied to change a law he supported, and which was passed for purely political reasons, so Massachusetts’ current Democrat Governor could name a Democrat replacement immediately and preserve the Democrats’ filibuster-proof Senate majority. Imagine the outrage if a conservative had displayed such “bipartisanship”.

Kennedy’s policy positions were flawed, too. From abortion and gun control to illegal aliens and taxation, the Senator favored government largess to individual liberty and world opinion to national sovereignty. What’s more, he railed against the “privileged class” when he himself personified of the term.

When Senator Helms died the left pined for his eternal torment. I bring none of that to Kennedy’s death. In fact, I hope he has found eternal rest and peace. However, to suddenly ignore his blatant lack of character and the effect his “public service” had on our culture and liberty is nonsense.

Ted Kennedy was no hero. We don’t have to relish his passing. But we don’t have to praise a man who consistently worked to expand government and limit freedom either.