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Archive for January, 2013

If the Daily Beast wants to do some research and reporting on bigotry in America, they need look no farther than their very own Michael Tomasky’s columns. His frequent anti-conservative, anti-Christian screeds are getting old. To wit:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/24/gop-attracting-minorities.html

He uses a single comment thread of some ignorant people after Whitney Houston died to paint the GOP as racist. He would do well to look at the comment threads of the Huffington Post on any day – just pick one – to see what real bigotry looks like. Some truly hateful, anti-religious rants, by people who claim to not believe in God, but sure seem to hate Him anyway. As Mr. Tomasky is not a gifted writer (certainly not in the league of, say Ezra Klein or Andrew Sullivan), one can only assume Tina Brown chose him for the Daily Beast for his liberal views. They are the residue of a life begun in a college town and lived largely in New York and Washington. Middle America appears to be something alien to Mr. Tomasky’s experience. I know a lot of conservatives; I knew very, very few that I would consider bigoted. I get the feeling that in his New York/DC axis, Mr. Tomasky comes in contact with, well … none. The best thing about the Daily Beast hiring him is that he may now pollute the minds of our British friends less frequently than he used to writing for the Guardian. This latest column of Mr. Tomasky’s says much less about the GOP than it says about him – that he neither knows nor likes his fellow Americans that are conservatives. Get out of your bubble, Mike. Go live a little. Meet a conservative or two or better yet, twenty. And only then do you get to have an opinion worth taking seriously. Stop hating; start learning.

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Poor Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo wrote an article on how he doesn’t like guns and doesn’t want “the gun culture” being foisted him; “that doesn’t work where I live, geographically or metaphorically”, geographically being New York City, metaphorically being that he’s a liberal.  http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/01/speaking_for_my_tribe.php .  Well Josh, welcome to the world conservatives inhabit all the time.

Maybe this will help ol’ Josh finally understand the value of federalism. For decades conservatives in the South, the Great Plains and Mountain West have had to put up with liberal northeasterners foisting their values on them.  The attempt at a federal ban on semiautomatic rifles (what you guys call “assault weapons”) is another case in point. Liberals are scared of guns, so they don’t want even law-abiding people in rural states to have them.  I have to give Josh some credit for showing some understanding of the rural/urban divide on the Second Amendment; the problem is a federal ban would ignore that understanding and place rural areas under the boot of their urban betters.

Federalism is a good thing because it allows more people to live in the kind of communities they like. Josh Marshall gets to be a New York liberal; I get to be a Southern conservative. This way, the country can be big enough for both of us.
– 1TF

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Fox Sports reporting that the Jacksonville Jaguars are not going to pursue Tim Tebow to be their quarterback.
http://www.foxsportsohio.com/01/11/13/New-Browns-bank-on-old-friend/msn_landing.html?blockID=847965&feedID=3724.

The wise guys are going to say Tebow needs to go to Canada if he wants to play quarterback. Trouble with that is he doesn’t want to go and there is still a lot of throwing in the Canadian game.

I see three places in the NFL where Tebow could land. The place he may prefer because he could compete for a starting job would be Kansas City, home of probably the most endangered incumbent in Matt Cassell. New coach Andy Reid has shown a penchant for left-handed, running quarterbacks before (see Michael Vick). The Kansas City job would come with a caveat – that Tebow would be a one-year stopgap measure while Reid looked for the quarterback he really wants. But Reid, having been burned by his Vick loyalty, isn’t likely to be up for the media circus that comes to down with Tebow.

A better possibility is New England, if he is willing to sacrifice the idea of playing solea lot of quarterback.  That spot is most certainly taken for the foreseeable future.  If anyone in the league can make optimal use of the unorthodox skill set Tebow brings, it’s Bill Belichick.

The third, and maybe most intiguing is in Pittsburgh as a backup. The current Steeler backup, Byron Leftwich – is a lot like Tebow – long delivery, questionable accuracy – but without Tebow’s mobility. Pittsburgh fans are likely to see Tebow for what he is – a slightly less accurate, but more mobile and durable Byron Leftwich with Roethlisberger’s ability to extend plays. Tebow needs to go in making clear he knows he’s strictly there in a supporting role. Given Roethlisberger’s recent injury history, Tebow is likely to find himself on the field in Pittsburgh at some point anyway. That’s more oppportunity than he got in New York.

So, before sending him north of the border, Tebow’s agent should consider contacting Kansas City, New England and Pittsburgh.  And Tebow needs to take stock of what he really offers a team.  Tebow will want to compete for a starting job in Kansas City, but it’s more likely, and probably more adviseable, that he winds up in New England or Pittsburgh, quality organizations with quality coaches who can see and take advantage of the unorthodox gifts Tebow offers.

1TF

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Turns out John Boehner isn’t the only conservative leader under siege from his colleagues. The conservatives in the UK are at least considering a leadership change to David Cameron. Part of the reason is Camerons positions on social issues, most notably gay marriage. The would-be leader according to the rebels isn’t even currently in the House of Commons; it’s Boris Johnspn, the Mayor of London. Meanwhile, here in America, there is word afoot that Paul Ryan is being sought out by would- be revolutionaries to take John Borhmer’s increasingly precarious position. It would be useful to consider what it is Johnson and Ryan have in common, and what Cameron and Boehner do.

Let’s start with the leaders. Both are struggling with a difficult economic climate, and rapidly changing increasingly liberal electorates. Cameron, a manor-born social liberal himself, has sought to move his party, not to simply to the center-right, but to the center. His pro-Europe stand looks out of step with the right (and inconveniently so when the European Commission found England in violation of Section 8 because it didn’t let convicted murderers impregnate women by in vitro fertilization). His critics allege, correctly, that he is far to the left of his party – or at least of its contingent in Parliament – and that this party he is leading is increasingly unpopular under his watch. The question is whether he is actually the reason for it s unpopularity. The Murdoch mess couldn’t have helped. Also, they need some grace for the fact that it is in fact a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. If the Conservatives toss Cameron, there is no guarantee that a more ideologically pure successor could hold the coalition together.

Across the Atlantic, John Boehner has also tried to move his party to the left, but not to the center-right but merely to fiscal reality. In the wake of the 2012 electoral disaster, the Republicans had been still insisting on no tax rate increases. Boehner finds himself in a vice between a President who values economic equality over economic growth and a Republican Party fixated on an old pledge that collides with the need for deficit reduction.

As for the hunters, Boris Johnson and Paul Ryan appear to have little in common. Johnson is a populist centrist. Ryan a bookish conservative. What they have in common is that neither is in actuality a serious alternative. Johnson, while currently a popular mayor of London, lacks the knowledge and connections necessary to run the House of Commons. Ryan has run nothing larger than the Budget Committee. Both are celebrities and more a barbaric yawp of a party in trouble than a real governing alternative. Furthermore, is the socially liberal, Oxford educated really all that different from Cameron? And is the middle-class son of the midwest Ryan all that different from the saloonkeeper son of the midwest Boehner? A change in leadership ought to be an actual change, with articulable reasons and goals attached to it. Change for the sake of change is traditionally a liberal malady. Conservatives should be loathe to move it to their own ranks.

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