Friday, June 16, 2006

A "Leftist" Blog?

Looks like it would be leftie, doesn't it? In this case, looks would be deceiving.

So, Am I A Liberal? Words of wisdom:

We also need to clean up the voter rolls and keep them clean, and we need to ensure that the people who vote are actually entitled to do so. (I have to show photo ID when I buy beer; why don't I have to do the same thing when I'm voting? What possible justification is there for treating the foundational process of our democracy more lightly than getting hammered on Saturday night?)

Given their almost hysterical opposition to things like photo ID voting requirements, I don't think that the sort of comprehensive voting system cleanup I want to see is what liberals want. But I'd be happy to be wrong. Democracy only works when the side that loses is confident that their support was counted accurately and fairly.

This Is Controversial? Apparently some lefties (DQTP) don't like the trailer for United 93.

For years, conservatives complaining about media they found objectionable were met by liberals with the (absolutely correct) rejoinder that "if you don't like it, don't watch it." Well, turnabout is fair play. Now the left has met a piece of media they find objectionable, and they should be met with the same response. Perhaps with the additional admonition to grow the hell up.

Sometimes Being Offensive Is Ok

I'm saddened by the failure of most American newspapers to reprint the editorial comics that triggered the so-called "Cartoon Jihad" among Muslims. The typical excuse rendered by the papers is that reprinting the comics would be 'offensive' to Muslim sensibilities. This treats not giving offense as a kind of ethical primary or commandment -- "Thou Shalt Not Give Offense". The obvious rejoinder to this is the observation that the papers are engaging in a double-standard, being willing to print items that offend some groups and not others. But there is a deeper question as well: since when is it always wrong to offend people?

A Very Good Question

A number of blogs have been buzzing about the recent exchange between Paul Mirengoff and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the topic of FISA and the NSA intercept program. The Bush administration argues that the post-9/11 congressional authorization of force provides statutory authority under FISA for the intercept program. Democrats disagree. This is therefore in part a dispute over the intent of the legislature when it passed the authorization of force. Mirengoff asks the obvious question: if the intent of Congress has been misinterpreted, why not pass a clarifying resolution? That would seem to settle the issue one way or the other. Durbin's reaction to this idea can be compared to that of a Frenchman to a bar of soap, or perhaps a vampire to a clove of garlic.

I understand why the Democrats wouldn't want to put such a clarifying resolution up for a vote. It would require them to take a clear stand on the underlying issue of whether this kind of surveillance is desirable or not. If they vote to deny the authority, they look like they're more concerned about the alleged civil rights of terrorists than they are about the security of law-abiding Americans. That plays right into the Republican electoral strategy for the mid-term elections. Being perceived as siding with terrorists equals the political kiss of death. But if they vote to support the authority, they'd be validating the Bush administration's position, acknowledging that the NSA intercept program was always legal under existing law. That would make them look like feckless, unprincipled opportunists who spent months attacking the President for something they wound up admitting was never a problem. It would also infuriate their left-wing activist base, which is already pretty torqued with them for failing to halt the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The end result would also be very politically damaging.

His guess as to why Republicans don't just push for it, as they've done in both houses of Congress with "cut and run" votes regarding Iraq?

The Republicans are spineless political idiots. (Always a good guess.)

Taken as a whole, he sure doesn't sound like a leftist to me.

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