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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Well, it sure looks like the regular folks in the GOP are lining up behind Rick Santorum. We know that I'm totally sold out on Santorum. I love him. No, seriously. You may be saying to yourself, "What would make an anti-authoritarian libertarian ideologue who couldn't even stomach McCain vote for Mr. Big Government Santorum?" I'm glad you asked. This is the best I can do, so here goes: There are two kinds of "establishment" candidates; the first kind rankles any normal person who can lay legitimate claim to having a conservative thought. He's the kind of candidate whose version of balance and electability is to capitulate to Democratic/socialist/progressive ideology only in part and in completely random fashion, such that one's own supporters want to strangle one. (McCain fits here, but in his defense, 2000 McCain was 1000 times worse than the 2008 version.) Think Nixon or Ford. People that provoke rightist third parties, and cause barely literate narcissist peanut farmers to be elected president. If you want to know which person this is, ask the voters of the Democratic party who they prefer. You don't want to be that guy. Even if you win the nomination, your supporters sit at parties saying, "Who are the stupid %^&%&! who voted for this guy?" and "This is why primaries should never be open." This year, that man is Romney. Ironically, last time, he got to be The Last-Ditch Hope against McCain. I never got that, but OK. With apologies to Tim, he may never understand how disliked McCain really is. He may even be genuine in his affection. But he's the epitome of why I am unashamed to be an ideologue. (See also Lugar, Richard; Hagel, Chuck; and Chaffee, Lincoln for some non-presidential examples.)
But there is one other type of establishment candidate who satisfies the needs of winning and governing pragmatically without alienating core supporters. You know he's not ideal or that you don't line up with him, but at the end of the day, he's one of ours. Such a man is very skilled, because he can explain himself without making you feel crazy or stupid if you disagree. This is Santorum. You tell me: Is it easier to move Santorum more conservative if the need arises, or is he at heart one who craves liberal acceptance? That's what I thought. The New Republic likes Romney. They think he'll win, too. That's all I need to know. I'll take Santorum's breaks from economic conservatism any day. In the end, he's not a statist, even if he plays the populist. And the next president gets 2 Supreme Court picks, minimum. You tell me: Would he lose re-election for the sake of defenseless babies? That's what I thought. Scalia may retire, but Breyer and Ginsburg definitely will. Justice Kennedy isn't long for this deal, either. It's 4-5 on abortion right now. Don't even try to tell me you wouldn't take a shot if it was your call. Romney's not at all certain to appoint pro-life judges. Gingrich can't win. Any questions?

Friday, February 17, 2012

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Good idea to reverse yourself on adding Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin to the NBA All-Star festivities. Everybody wants to see what the kid can do.

4. I'm not terribly surprised he's doing so well. He played for Tommy Amaker at Harvard--Duke alumnus and awesome coach--so it's not completely preposterous.

3. Spring training for Major League Baseball is about to get under way...Go Cards!

2. The Democrats and their media allies (we'll keep saying that until you close the revolving door between Democratic campaigns and TV news, and oh, I don't know, report the news fairly) are starting to get their knives out for Rick Santorum. Buckle up, sir.

1. MMMM, bacon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 Humorous Self-Observations

5. I'm drinking in every one of my Facebook photos.

4. I can manipulate pixellated facsimilies of professional athletes for 9 hours, but I can't read philosophy for 5 minutes.

3. I can sing like Smokey Robinson when no one is around, but I sound like a wounded frog in church. [It's those horrid Catholic hymns.--ed.]

2. I'm probably the only person in America whose presidential voting history goes Bush-Bush-Obama-Santorum (God-willing).

1. I can remember Ozzie Smith's batting average from 1987, (.303) but I can't remember where I put my keys.
Mr. Winfield introduced me to a Polish composer named Gorecki (pronounce it like The Great One bought a vowel) via his 3rd Symphony, I think. It was the saddest piece of music I have ever heard. Let's just say the timing was fortunate. I'll bet murdering doctors use this piece to convince people to do what they shouldn't. I made a mental note not to listen to it just any time.
Speaking of murdering doctors, our fictional friend Dr. Yang conviced her husband not to hate her in the most recent episode of 'Grey's Anatomy.' He was gonna move out, but it looks like they might reconcile. I'm not sure how I feel about this. For his part, Dr. Hunt reached out to his wife because he saved her life earlier in the episode, and because his good friend, Dr. Theodora 'Teddy' Altman won't speak to him anymore. Yang lost Teddy's husband on the operating table, and Dr. Hunt ordered Yang to assist with a surgery of Altman's without telling her what had happened. She told Altman after the critical surgery, and we thought Altman was just being a jerk, because she made Yang repeat her entire process during the fatal surgery over and over again for two weeks. However, Altman finally told Yang that she did exactly what she herself would have done, and not to blame herself. Sadly, she's blaming Hunt instead, which really sucks for Hunt. He's the Chief of Surgery; he couldn't have Altman falling apart during a critical cardiac procedure on account of grief. No-win scenario there; I'm not sure what I would have done in his place. I hope she forgives him, though. It's very hard. She also needs to remember that she married an uber-diabetic with cancerous tumors (to get him health insurance). His untimely death was a very real possibility. We all loved the story: she married him to keep him alive, and whoops, fell in love with him. (He loved her from the word 'Go.') I predict that Yang will tell Altman to chill (after all, Hunt didn't kill a baby intentionally) and I hope that the entire perverted, murdering cast believes the gospel, and goes to Confession. I didn't like Hunt at first, but I feel for him now.
There's this new thing called Spotify, where you can stream music of your choice on the computer. I found it through Facebook. Mr. Hall says I lack the good sense to keep those popular music skeletons in my closet, although he noted that at least I don't waste energy trying to be ironic (hipster). But I noticed that Facebook started telling people what I was listening to, and although I'm proud to like what I like, there are limits. I want to listen to my Bolton and Lady Gaga in peace. [Isn't that Bolton ironic?--ed.] It might have had the possibility of starting out that way, but I saw him on Dancing With The Stars, and I knew that they'd make him sing for the finale. When he did, he sang a mind-blowing rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." I'm serious. He took us to church. Don't even doubt it. Yes, I know it's been covered a million times, yes, it's true that I barely even like it any more as a song. But it was incredible. It reminded me that I watched a concert of his in '95, and that he really, truly, doesn't suck. It'd be cooler to like him if they hadn't ripped him on Saturday Night Live, and there is a vague distrust (not entirely without warrant) of men with long hair. Moreover, he had given time and money to combat domestic violence, which paradoxically got him branded a "sissy." All that is to say, I think I'm a legitimate Michael Bolton fan.
My one concession to hipster sensibility is that I like Ray LaMontagne. He did a version of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" that was great. Of course, to bring it all full-circle, that song was recorded better and more famously by Michael Bolton.
I really like a band called Say Anything. The lead singer, Max Bemis, has a lot of problems. Most of the songs have foul words in them, and the band is aptly named. But it resonates somehow. Especially when one is angry. It's catchy while being kind of shocking. I don't know why I told you that.