Take a Look at My Face, I Am the Future

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Two mini-profiles out today, by two of my favorite political writers, put together a picture of the GOP that's Margaret Keane-worthy in its pathos and horror.

Jim Antle interviews former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who's remade himself as a partisan outsider preaching the gospel of grassroots organizing and vertical media message discipline to a conservative movement that… uh, has to go over there, now. (I remember seeing DeLay at his 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference booth being roundly ignored by young and old Republicans.)

"I was praying for a long primary season," he says. "With the race over in February, we didn't have time to build the party."

Barack Obama was able to assemble a formidable grassroots organization in all 50 states during a long and drawn-out primary fight with Hillary Clinton. But after his nearest competitors imploded or undermined one another, John McCain was able to rack up big wins on Super Tuesday without any comparable organizing. DeLay worries that McCain will learn the wrong lesson from his come-from-behind victory and conclude that groundwork is unnecessary.

Even so, DeLay doesn't think McCain is necessarily doomed. "Obama is too radical," he says, calling the presumptive Democratic nominee a "socialist" and a "Marxist." But even if McCain wins, that won't be sufficient for a 1994-style conservative comeback. "Conservatives will have to fight McCain too on issues like immigration, affirmative action, and global warming," DeLay says. He warns that the cap-and-trade policies favored in varying degrees by both Obama and McCain could "destroy our economy."

Over at The New Republic, Eve Fairbanks interviews Col. Allen West, a candidate for Florida's Democratic-held 22nd district. Maybe you've heard of West.

An egghead who reads medieval Muslim history and the anti-socialist French thinker Frederic Bastiat in his spare time, West was on track for a generalship when his unit was assigned in August 2003 to interrogate an Iraqi policeman who had supposedly turned Benedict Arnold. The policeman refused to cooperate, so West dragged him outside, pushed his head into the sand, and fired a gun next to his face to get him to sing. "I'd do it again if I had to," West tells me over tea and a doughnut in Plantation, Florida. "It wasn't torture. Seeing Rosie O'Donnell naked would be torture."

The scandal's actually helped West with Republicans.

Dinerstein, the Palm Beach Republican chair, explains: "There's always been a belief by those of us on our side that the rules of engagement were inhibiting our military … I mean, the whole Abu Ghraib thing is quite extraordinary–not one person even got tortured! One of my sound-bites is that more people died in Teddy Kennedy's car. " For humiliated Republicans constantly hearing that voters want "change"–in other words, anything but their shameful selves–West is a relief, a walking argument that they have been right all along.

NEXT: Is Defeating Big-Government Conservativsm a Victory for Big-Government Liberalism?

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  1. Dinerstein, the Palm Beach Republican chair, explains: “There’s always been a belief by those of us on our side that the rules of engagement were inhibiting our military … I mean, the whole Abu Ghraib thing is quite extraordinary–not one person even got tortured! One of my sound-bites is that more people died in Teddy Kennedy’s car. “

    Can we just round all these “Republican, yeah!” cretins up and send them to Iraq to dig latrines?

  2. the whole Abu Ghraib thing is quite extraordinary–not one person even got tortured

    Yes, but they were embarrassed. Horribly, horribly embarrassed.

  3. The scandal’s actually helped West with Republicans.

    not surprising, really. Not when you consider Rush Limbaugh* lives and works in his district

    *I think. The district is so gerrymandered to keep out poor people (and to keep enough ‘minorities’ in 19 and 20) that either the working or the living part could be incorrect.

  4. “more people died in Ted Kennedy’s car”

    Wow. Sick, sick people.

  5. Of course, it isn’t true that nobody was tortured, and it isn’t true that nobody died.

    One Iraqi general was beaten and suffocated to death in a sleeping bag. One of the sick bastards from the Army is shown posing next to his frozen corpse giving a thumbs-up sign. The picture was widely disseminated, and yet this a-hole manages not to know about it. The Army’s own report on the matter discusses people being anally raped and splattered with corrosive liquids.

  6. An egghead who reads medieval Muslim history and the anti-socialist French thinker Frederic Bastiat in his spare time, West was on track for a generalship when his unit was assigned in August 2003 to interrogate an Iraqi policeman who had supposedly turned Benedict Arnold. The policeman refused to cooperate, so West dragged him outside, pushed his head into the sand, and fired a gun next to his face to get him to sing. “I’d do it again if I had to,” West tells me over tea and a doughnut in Plantation, Florida. “It wasn’t torture. Seeing Rosie O’Donnell naked would be torture.”

    Well at least he reads Bastiat…. NOT!

  7. Someone should force Dinerstein’s family to strip at gun point and form a pyramid, no sex crime there.

  8. “It wasn’t torture. Seeing Rosie O’Donnell naked would be torture.”

    No, someone pushing your head into Rosie O’Donnell’s naked body and firing a gun next to it would be torture. It’s really the “gun” part that matters here.

  9. “It wasn’t torture. Seeing Rosie O’Donnell naked would be torture.”

    Can’t they both be torture? 🙂

  10. How about eating out Rosie O’Donnell after she spends an hour on an eliptical?

  11. How about eating out Rosie O’Donnell after she spends an hour on an eliptical?

    Joke’s on you, buddy. Rosie would never get on a elliptical trainer.

    But, getting back to the article… The GOP doesn’t have to tell the truth; they’ve burn their opponents out, “outrage fatigue.” And 30% of America would believe them if they did a press release redefining the color of the sky as “Reagan.” They gotten away with lying for so long, I think they are just fucking with us at this point.

  12. IIRC, LTC Allen West was in the ROTC class ahead of me at Tennessee, but I do not remember him very well.

    BTW, Dave, LTC is his proper retirement rank, not COL, although LTCs are properly called “Colonel” in conversation and letters addressed to them.

  13. And 30% of America would believe them if they did a press release redefining the color of the sky as “Reagan.”

    Opportunity Bulbs!

  14. One would have to be a real asshole to think looking at Rosie naked is worse than what has happened in US military controlled prisons.

  15. The comments in the TNR article are pretty darn good. Looks like they are open to anybody to post too.

  16. Torture, by definition, is something that evil greasy foreigners do.

    America doesn’t do torture.
    Repeat as necessary.

  17. Opportunity Bulbs!

    Suicide Murderers!

    They really are masters of manipulating language.

  18. You might want to ask your State representative energy conservation? How much gas, oil and electricity we could save, if we sent illegal aliens packing.
    We cannot keep up the demand for it right now! Oil! Diversity Alliance for Sustainable America.(earthtimes) stated in it’s article that if the U.S. grants amnesty and gives citizenship to 12 to 30 million illegal migrants already here, as McCain, Obama and the majority of Democrats propose. That all those naturalized citizens could possibly add 120 million U.S. and foreign-born relatives to the U.S., in the next 20 years whom all will CONSUME MAJOR ENERGY. Does the American people need to escalate the 315 million plus population, the census estimates we have now? To a new total of 435 million?

    The executive director of (DASA) admitted “Proposal to reduce energy costs in the U.S. will not work unless we also simultaneously curb U.S. population growth by reducing immigration and curbing teen pregnancies.” Severing the illegal immigration occupation and deporting those already here is a good start, but not the complete solution to this serious energy problem that cannot be reversed. Unless another Nikola Tesla, an underrated genius of the 19th century invents a some new form of energy, we will be reliant on fossil fuels for years to come? Clean coal, geothermal, eco-fuel and of course wind power and solar. The latter is energy that is a perpetual source of unimaginable power that knows no bounds. The Save Act (H.R.5088) is an enforcement federal bill only, to start the EXODUS of foreign nationals illegally in AMERICA. NUMBERSUSA has all the unsuppressed facts

  19. Welcome to Rationalizing Racism 101. I’m your instructor, Professor Brittanicus, but feel free to call me Douchey McHatesTacos.

  20. Obama is certainly a socialist in some respects (as are most Republicans), but I’m not sure about Marxist. If he starts expounding on dialectical materialism then I’ll believe that.

  21. Would sterileizing everyone who voted for Bush in 2004 help?

  22. The TNR link isn’t working now.

  23. Never saw this blog before. What a dumb thread. Big words and small brains. ugh

  24. TNR.com just had one of its occasional meltdowns, but now appears to be back up and running.

    Looks like they are open to anybody to post too.

    Commenting on articles (GM was referring to this one) is open, but commenting on blogs still isn’t.

  25. What happened in Abu Ghirab was torture, but I’m not so sure about this. It sounds terrifying, and it probably worked, but I don’t see it as any more humiliating and dehumanizing than getting shot at usually is, and the army does make a habit of shooting people. I’d rather have them do stuff like that, which is jarring as hell but quick and painless that pretending to drown people, using sleep deprivation etc.

  26. EJM,

    Looks like they are melting down again.

    Perhaps they should purchase some lessons from a Free Minds & Markets ‘blog?

  27. Alas, just because one reads Bastiat doesn’t actually mean that one is able to understand him.

  28. Never saw this blog before. What a dumb thread. Big words and small brains. ugh

    Said the troll with an AOL email address.

  29. Guy, thanks. That got me to the comments but the link to the article is still broken.

  30. The piece is a gross distortion, which is sad given the writer’s history and credentials.

    Here’s a full response:

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/4201

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2053571/posts

    You Know Your Candidate is an Effective One

    When the National Media Sees the Need to Falsely Portray All Those Around Him
    By Yomin Postelnik Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Lt. Col. Allen West is a great candidate. He speaks with honesty and clarity as his innate sincerity and devotion to the nation pour through. He’s that rare form of politician, an honest one. And that sincerity attracts Republicans and Democrats alike to him, whether or not they share his conservative views.

    Eve Fairbanks is an intelligent and dedicated reporter for The New Republic. Anyone who meets her is impressed with her knowledge as well as her impeccable manners and wit. In short, she’s a pleasant person. But she was given an unpleasant job, that of covering one of the GOP’s most effective candidates for one of the nation’s oldest Democratic magazines.

    The result was in some ways predictable. In other ways it was not. There was no escaping the fact that the crowds love Allen West. On a similar note, no could one fail to realize the candidate’s impressive command of world history, from which he takes practical lessons that are often overlooked (to society’s detriment) or fail to recognize his in-depth understanding of the issues, be they societal, economic or security oriented. Most left winged (or center-left) reporters would have ignored these traits. Fairbanks did not, and for that she deserves credit.

    But Fairbanks, while enumerating Allen West’s good qualities, put an extremely negative spin on them that was wholly unwarranted. To accomplish this she concentrated first on West’s supporters and local party chairmen. She also span many positives about West as negative, such as her portrayal of his vast study of history as being peculiar for a military man, using almost insulting words to describe his intellectual endeavors.

    It only got worse from there. And while there is much good to say about Eve Fairbanks, her column was simply unwarranted, not that The New Republic would have printed it if it had been a truly accurate and balanced portrayal.

    Below is a quick response to The New Republic piece. What I take issue with is not only her portrayal of Allen’s candidacy, but also of party chairmen and even some specific supporters, including myself. Some explanation is needed for those not familiar with the column and I will provide this briefly.

    Sid Dinerstein is the Chairman of the Palm Beach Republican Party. He has an impressive resume that highlights a plethora of bright accomplishments. His website contains a bio that highlights some of these and, in passing, happens to list some of his accomplishments in high school. In the TNR only the most junior and ancillary of these is singled out, with the intent of making his brilliant and unique record sound almost foolish. This was a great disservice to such an accomplished and hard working man. The one quote she used from his Broward County counterpart, Chip LaMarca, one of the best organizers the GOP has anywhere, also did not do him justice.

    But even more unusual was the fact that she started the three page column not about West, but with thirteen lines dedicated to me. At issue was a recent column in which I’d written on an interview request that had come from al-Jazeera in which they asked for West’s home address and sought to pick him up and bring him to their location, the address of which they did not reveal.

    Aside from the fact that I clearly stated that my main concern was that this was with regard to interns of that network, who often come from the Middle East with little known background information, Fairbanks began her column by portraying my comments as if I had written about some unknown “terrorist group” and had been oblivious to the network’s involvement. As it turns out, several other political candidates received similar bizarre requests and all had the same misgivings. One campaign reported the matter to a federal agency and they, unlike The New Republic, took the issue extremely seriously.

    Lastly, and this is just a minor but funny note, in one of her more humorous moves, she worded my attendance at a West speech in such a way that most readers would understand me to be a member of a retirement community, which would be strange for a 30 year old columnist (although my wife would be right to tell you that I may sometimes act like a retiree, such as when it comes to taking care of the dishes).

    Attacking everyone within the ten mile radius of a candidate only shows his effectiveness. But more importantly than all that, I simply do not believe that Ms. Fairbanks’ column does justice to Allen West. It seems to have gone to great lengths to portray Allen’s positive qualities as if they were negative ones.

    Aside from being a powerhouse, West is one of those rarest of beings, an honest politician. This is the reason he is so well liked by Democrats and Republicans alike who hear him speak. He’s an honest conservative and even those who disagree with him admire his honesty as well as the fact that he sincerely wants to do well for the nation.

    His record is one of immense service and dedication and he has widespread support among those who know him best, the troops who served under him. I would have expected a more fair and accurate piece from someone with the intelligence and acumen of Ms. Fairbanks and hope that she will be more even handed in the future.

    That said, I extend my best wishes to her.

    Yomin Postelnik is the President of IRPW, a company that offers business plans, funding advice and facilitation, SBA loan applications, SWOT analyses, bold and effective marketing strategies, general business development and grant writing and research for non-profits and certain qualified businesses. Call today for an initial consultation ? (954) 946-4442 or email ypostelnik@InsidersReview.org

    Yomin Postelnik most recent columns

  31. Having read all of Bastiat’s works that have been translated into English, I feel pretty sure that he wouldn’t endorse mock executions to extract statements from prisoners. (Plus Bastiat opposed the French colonization of North Africa and rejected the suggestion that France should help foreign revolutionaries overthrow their own governments, so I’m pretty sure he would have opposed the Iraq war too.)

  32. Yomin,

    The piece is a gross distortion, which is sad given the writer’s history and credentials.

    Googling the author’s name and/or the verb Fairbanksing reveals a history of distortion that should no longer surprise anybody. Same for TNR.

  33. If every people can be treated fairly,there would reduce too much violence in the grassroots.but the ideal world is just an idea now.

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