<"www.capecodporcupine.blogspot.com" >

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P., W.F.B. (j.) - 1925 - 2008

Porcupine is proud to own an original hardback copy of 'God and Man at Yale'. The thesis of the book is that liberal faculty is busy inculcating students with liberal doctrines, often making at least a public agreement with a progressive point of view a prerequisite for a good grade, while abandoning the true mission of the University, which is classical and rigorous education. The book may seem a well worn theme, until you pause to consider that it was written in 1951.

William F. Buckley, Jr., Gentleman of Connecticut has passed away. There will be many news stories about him. Porcupine especially like the phrase in the Associated Press obituary - 'reptilian languor' - for Buckley's unique and often satirized style (really, it's so apt that Porcupine suspects the AP of having had this written for a while). William F. Buckley was the George Saunders of conservatism - silkily spoken, impeccably presented, and utterly addicted to the last word.

Buckley lived to debate - the livelier and more intelligent his opponents, the better - and he single handedly invented the public affairs debate show with 'Firing Line', the PBS fig leaf of conservatism from 1965 to 1999. Buckley pulled the plug on the show himself, announcing that he wished to give a competitor a chance in a new millennium. Eyes cast down, doodling on his pad, twisting further and further in his chair, Buckley would listen to his opponent - until that mistake, that inopportune word. Then, the eyebrow raised, the hooded eyes lit up, and the devastating rebuttal would begin in the odd drawl that was his speech.

Much will be written about his life and his ideas for a little while. He was a mass of odd contradictions - he angrily quit a job at the magazine American Mercury (before going on to found The National Review) because he felt it was anti-Semitic; yet he had no problem saying that southern states were right to reject the Federal government and uphold Jim Crow laws based on state's rights and white majority rule. He urged the Republican Party to purge itself of John Birch Society members as he thought them conspiracy obsessed loons; yet he was one of the few intellectuals to defend the basic premise of Sen. Joe McCarthy's investigations into communist tendencies. When your heard Buckley SAY it, it all sounded logical at the time.

He was a brilliant rhetorician. He helped Goldwater and Reagan begin their political careers. When he began publishing The National Review, intellectual discourse was primarily David Susskind liberalism, a sort of New Deal hangover. He provided a Right Brain to go with the Left, and a balance in the arena of ideas. Porcupine greatly admired his debating and writing skills (non-fiction only - his spy novels were dreadful). Before Goldwater, there was Bill Buckley - the beginning of the modern Conservative movement. It is a shame to see so much wit and style leave the public square.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Two Minds With But A Single Thought...

...or is it two minds with almost a single thought between them? According to former Congressional candidate and Democratic Party Chair Philip Johnston: "We all said that we could have closed our eyes when Obama spoke [and] it could have been Deval."

Should Sen. Obama become the nominee, the People of the Commonwealth will bear a great responsibility - better acquainting the nation with how talk can be cheap, and how sometimes, when change is what you proclaim when you are unable to accomplish anything, the only change you see is the chump kind.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Its Five Year Mission...To Explore New Worlds....

What began like this - an unprecedented and classy act of setting aside a campaign voluntarily to give the party's nominee a clear field - was perceived as being REALLY this, by cartoonist Paul Szep -

But, with the Associated Press stories today (this one from the Boston Herald, but the same story appears in the Cape Cod Times and dozens of other papers today) it appears that the media's love affair with John McCain is over, and they have discovered his penchant for salty language and his irascible temper.

What a pity there isn't a cool voice - respected, if a little technical, but of demonstrated loyalty and with efficient analytical skills, to act as a counterweight to the Captain. A team like this one -

Passion and Intellect. Foreign Affairs and Economy. McCain and Romney, 2008.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 11, 2008

It Is Meet and Right So To Do

In Porcupine's office, there hangs a framed original Harper's Weekly cartoon - similar to this one - with the branch that the desperate Republican elephant is clinging to labeled "Massachusetts". You see, in 1856, the fledgling Republican Party was kept alive by the strong abolitionist vote in Massachusetts. To campaign in the Congressional races here in Worcester, Taunton, New Bedford, and other Massachusetts communities, a young Illinois attorney came, with quite a reputation for speechifying. His name was Abraham Lincoln.

Two years ago, Porcupine wrote THIS post, to try to explain his admiration and devotion to the memory of perhaps the most tortured and brilliant man to occupy the Presidency. His humble beginnings, his work ethic, his natural ability to communicate - all of these qualites speak powerfully to the current polarized political climate, and it is appropriate to consider how we choose our Presidents, and how we value the Office. As Porcupine wrote back then, "As we go into another election year, and begin the wailing about the quality and timbre of those who put themselves forward, please consider this. Would we, as a nation, state or district, allow a person with clinical depression to serve as our elected representative? Would we narrow our focus to the flaw, and fail to see the person that the flaw has strengthened? Worse, would we elect a person who was ugly, with a thin reedy voice?"

Today, the Middlesex Club stood proudly by as legislation was introduced to create a Lincoln BiCentennial Commission, to celebrate President Lincoln's two-hundreth birthday on February 12, 2009. Founded in 1867, the Middlesex Club holds an annual tribute to Lincoln, most recently its 140th, making it the longest continuous Lincoln memorial society in the nation. Porcupine is honored to have such distinguished Lincoln admirers as fellow Massachusetts Republicans John DeJong and Dan Winslow, and the Club plans events for the BiCentennial Year.

Click HERE to learn more about the coming bicentennial - and let us all reflect upon our most brilliant President. It is meet and right so to do.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm Strong To The Finish...

From a friend in the State House...

That's the best Popeye imitation since Robin Williams!

"Yuc yuc yuc yuc yuc yuc, well blow me down!"

"Call me soft on immigration, will ya? I'll tear your face off !"

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Today Is A Non-Political Day...Kinda....

Porcupine is about to abandon himself to pre-game shows. Local guys like Bob Lobel and Steve Burton, the Hated Felger, goofy Fred Smerlas and Steve deOssie - who must be the most torn commentator in football, as he is a former Patriot, a longtime Patriot gameday guy, who has a son Zack playing in the Superbowl for the NY Giants.

Still - there is chili and Fritos to eat, as we here in Massachusetts see if it IS possible to go 19 - 0 in the free-agent, salary-cap era.

A while ago, Porcupine suggested to the campaign that Mitt buy a Superbowl 42 ad, saying - "I'm rooting for my New England Patriots because I'm a Patriot too." That was made moot when the Superbowl announced no political ads would be sold (one Democrat and one GOP from New York, one from Massachusetts, and an Arizona GOP host as well). But the response from the campaign was interesting.

One response was that a single 30 second spot in the Superbowl would buy 300 regular commercials, which is true, but Porcupine suspeced the earned media would rival the Huckabee Floating Cross. Another response was that everywhere she went, the Patriots were HATED!! People wanted to see perfection fail!! Porcupine wanted to say she was campaigning in Florida, where the Pats had just taken away Don Shula's precious Dolphins record - but I paused. While Florida is a special case, what are the problems with perfection nationwide?

The big rap in the media on Mitt has always been that he's "too perfect". The perfect wife, the perfect kids, the perfect hair - they were reduced to talking about his great-grandfather in their search for scandal. Once, that would have been a good thing. Now, the media wants everybody flawed. Better story there.

So - will the Perfect Patriots triumph today? Porcupine has on his lucky Patriot socks, and is ready to root hard. Today, and for the OTHER Perfect Franchise from Massachusetts on Tuesday as well.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, February 02, 2008

As Maine Goes, So Goes the Nation!

Mainers vote - about 73% of voters cast a ballot in 2004, compared with 64% nationally. Maine has the oldest median age in the nation, is 96% white, and as any visitor knows, over 12% of the state is below the poverty line in a high cost-of-living state.

Today, amid an ice storm and slush, they held their Republican Presidential Caucus to send 18 delegates to the convention this fall. Both popular moderate Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, spoke on behalf of John McCain.
They had a good crowd. According to the Associated Press, "Kim Pettengill, who has been a party activist for more than three decades, said Saturday's was the largest Kennebec County caucus turnout since 1980, the year Ronald Reagan won his first GOP nomination for president. Party Executive Director Julie O'Brien said other counties reported similarly heavy turnouts. In coastal Damariscotta, O'Brien said she counted about 400 people packing the meeting at the Great Salt Bay School, and local organizers said it was the biggest turnout they had seen."

To put this in perspective, Porcupine met Sen. McCain there at a rally for candidate Chan Woodcock in 2006, and 25 people was considered a big event.

But, at the end of the day, the caucus went to Romney, whose son Tagg attended the caucuses. The vote tallied Romney with 53 percent of the vote, John McCain trailing with 21 percent, Ron Paul was third with 19 percent, and Mike Huckabee had 5 percent. Undecided votes accounted for 2 percent.

A couple of observations - Huckabee blew it big-time by not campaigning here. Maine is Oklahoma with pine trees. The tiny town where Porcupine has his summer burrow has only 2,400 people - about the same size as the town of West Tisbury here in Massachusetts - but four competing Baptist churches. Also, all the flap about Romney not being backed by more Republican Governors - if both popular Senators personally spoke on caucus day for McCain, how influential are these endorsements, anyway?

Mainers are concerned about the economy - with good reason - and illegal immigration across their largely unpatrolled border. The 9/11 terrorists began their flight at the Bangor International Airport, flying in from Canada and proceeding to Logan Airport in Boston. Porcupine believes it was Romney's stance on these issues that proved so appealing, and wonders if this vote is a harbinger of next Tuesday.

Labels: , , , , ,

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out! 

Please take my Blog Reader Project survey.

Listed on BlogShares
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
« # ! LifePost + ? » -->