Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Random SWNIDisms on Recent Events

Unable to blog with any consistency but feeling an obligation to inform our gentle readers on what to think and why to think it, we offer several observations on recent events:

On the firing of US attorneys
We agree with the impeccable Charles Krauthammer that Alberto Gonzales should be fired, not for being a dishonest AG but for being so politically incompetent as to have handed the Ds a scandal where none actually exists.

We understand why Bushies connected to this mess are trying not to testify before Congressional committees (or submit to show trials, to be more specific): Patrick Fitzgerald investigated Plamegate for years and did nothing except successfully set a perjury trap for Scooter Libby. Who wants to be the next Scooter?

On Fred Thompson
We think that Fred is a good guy who ought to run for the GOP nomination. We think he's better at politics than as being the next Paul Harvey, compared to whom Thompson sounds wooden. We also think that he won't dent Rudy's lead long term.

On Tony Snow
We pray for the good health of one of our favorite media and political figures. Snow is a good thinker, a fine communicator, a decent and humble human being, and a native of Our Fair City. We want better for him that what he's got right now.

On Hillary
Tom Vilsack endorsed Hillary after Hillary wrote a check to pay off Vilsack's campaign debt. This is not a scandal for the Democrats, who remain the Party of the People in the eyes of the media. Democrats are assumed to operate on the basis of cronyism and thinly veiled bribery. The Washington Times's Tony Blankley aptly summarizes Ms. Clinton's m.o. and prospects today, as we share this:

Personally I find her and her candidacy detestable as the worst form of unprincipled, ruthless, nihilistic, mud-throwing demagogic politics. But for the Democratic Party electorate (and some Independents and soft Republicans) her apparent strengths will become more persuasive. Currently she suffers by the media's focus on her lack of spontaneity, charm or pleasant voice -- particularly when compared with Obama and, to some extent, Edwards.

But charm is not the only path to the American voter. Richard Milhous Nixon won more national elections than any politician in our history (two vice presidents, three presidential nominations and two presidencies -- three if you count the stolen 1960 election against Kennedy). He didn't have any charm -- but he was smart, shrewd, highly political, hard working and ruthless.

On the date for withdrawal from Iraq
We think it's remarkable that the media is trumpeting the passage of a funding bill with a nonbinding date for withdrawal from Iraq as a triumph for Ds. Despite having a majority of seats, the Ds needed two Rs to vote with them because of two completely underreported facts (a) they've got a Senator who can't carry out his duties but who won't resign because doing so would mean the Ds would lose their majority; (b) one of their number, the sublime Joe Lieberman, was the object of scorn for Ds, who campaigned bitterly against him, yet he prevailed and now votes with the Ds for caucus matters but with the Rs on Iraq, just as he always has. Also underreported is the fact that the New England RINOs Susan Collins and Olympia Snow voted with the President.

We think that Bush might well sign the bill as it exists now, even with the deadline. It is, after all, a non-binding deadline. Bush has shown a strong willingness to sign bills while stating what his intention is about carrying them out as the chief executive. There's nothing to keep him from doing the same here, thereby avoiding a silly political battle.


Bryan D said...

Here are some questions to which SWNID may respond if He so chooses:

(1) What should be done concerning the return of British hostages in Iran other than what is already being done?

(2) This week's poll of Scottish political opinion released here ( in the London Times shows the Republican SNP ten percent ahead of closest rivals Labour for the upcoming election. If the SNP comes to power a) will it be able to declare constitutional independence from Britain (and would the current US regime support it) and b) what effect would this have on Scottish infastructure, most notably instutions of higher learning such as the one whence SWNID himself hails?

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

SWNID knows his limits. A diplomat we are not. We have no advice whatsoever on the British hostages except to say that we think any form of appeasement will come back to bite all of us.

We've been so long away from the Auld Country that we hesitate to opine on Scottish politics. We suspect that the ScotNats lead Labour because of opposition to Blair's war policy and the absolute inability of any Scot outside of the wealthy elite of Edinburgh to vote Tory. So the SNP lead may have little to do with nationalism per se.

However, the ScotNats have always talked about "independence within Europe." And with the EU being more and more integrated, I doubt very much that Scottish independence would mean much more in the short term than that Scottish affairs would be handled entirely in Edinburgh. It's doubtful--I think--that the Scots would push for a separate army immediately, or that they'd want Euros instead of Sterling in the very short term. Nothing else, it seems to me, would be much affected.

In general, the Scottish national character these days is affable, sensible and cautious. A ScotNat victory might mean a formal end to the Union, but in that process the Scots will probably cooperate with their fussy, haughty neighbors to the south on much the same terms as they do at present.

Scottish education has been separate from English throughout the history of the Union, so this would only continue that reality. As John Stuart Mill observed:

"Youths come to the Scottish Universities ignorant, and there they are taugbht. The majority of those who come to the English Universities come still more ignorant, and ignorant they go away."