Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.—Horace, Ars Poetica, 139
A number of prominent big-time Conservative Movement figures have been working for over a year on the text of a new Conservative Manifesto, apparently intended to represent a set of defining principles for a new Tea Party Movement-associated national coalition.
One can tell exactly how old a lot of these people are by the fact that the new manifesto is an obvious take-off on M. Stanton’s Evans’s famous Sharon Statement, written in 1960 as the guiding principles of the newly founded Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). 1960’s YAF-ers are the senior citizens of 2010, and the Mount Vernon Statement is, by comparison, intentionally cagey and coy, trying to point eloquently in the general direction of some never explicitly identified “ideas of the American Founding” in as discreet and noncommittal a manner as humanly possible.
The Conservative Movement is, of course, already a tent covering an unruly collection of highly opinionated, intensely argumentative camels, representing very different libertarian and traditionalist strains of conservative opinion, who don’t necessarily like one another very much. Attempting to include an inchoate mass of centrist independents, mostly inclined toward fiscal conservatism but in general lacking any particular enthusiasm for censorious social conservatism was bound to represent a challenge.
One can sympathize with the difficulty of the drafters’ task, however, without being carried away with admiration for their results. The Mount Vernon Statement ended up proposing more syntactical than philosophical occasions for controversy. The fingerprints of an overly large committee are all over it, and though it carefully avoids affront (except to those who care about good prose), it also never particularly inspires.
Its intentionally marmorial, issued in a from-atop-the-mountaintop, inscribed-by-the-finger-of-God, style of presentation seemed a bit incongruous in the light of the missing line feed 8 paragraphs from the bottom. Doesn’t God proofread his tablets anymore?
Michelle Malkin, who is today a lot more significant a conservative figure than just about any of the Mount Vernon Statement signers (except perhaps Richard Viguerie), raises the very valid issue of the appropriateness of David Keene and Grover Norquist appearing these days in this particular kind of role.
The appearance of either Keene or Norquist in major Conservative Movement leadership roles at the present time is unacceptable to a great many Conservatives, and their participation in the drafting of Conservative manifestos was inappropriate.
I don’t happen to agree with Michelle Malkin on Immigration but, in my book, Michelle Malkin does speak for the mainstream Conservative Movement on the overwhelming majority of issues, and David Keene and Grover Norquist no longer do.
Michelle Malkin updates the Absolut advertising controversy, reporting that, having angered many Americans with an ill-conceived ad campaign picturing the entire American Southwest, including California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Arizona (and beyond the Southwest: Oregon, along with most of Wyoming, and much of Idaho) incorporated into Mexico, in the face of mounting criticism, Absolut withdrew the offending ad and apologized, and then the Swedish company, now part of France’s Pernod Ricard, announced its launch of new Gay-oriented advertising.
Bar owner Matthew Rogers of Pt. Richmond, Calif., sent this note to the company: “I run a bar in Pt. Richmond. … After seeing your ad campaign where you show a western map of the United States in which California is part of Mexico again, I’ve decided to do the following: 1) Never carry Absolut. Ever; 2) Lower the price of Ketel One vodka to $2 a shot indefinitely to build loyalty; 3) Print a copy of your ad and put it above the Ketel One drink special; 4) Tell all my friends and family what Absolut thinks of the United States of America and our right to enforce border laws. I am on the frontline of illegal immigration and its effects. Where are you? Oh, yes, Sweden. Good riddance.”
Absolut’s initial response to complaints was to hang up on consumers who phoned and to delete their e-mail without bothering to read it. But the controversy spread like a California wildfire stoked by Internet Santa Ana winds. In the first of two statements, Absolut Vice President of Corporate Communications Paula Eriksson attempted to douse the flames by touting the company’s embrace-diversity ethos. “As a global company,” she pedantically intoned, “we recognize that people in different parts of the world may lend different perspectives or interpret our ads in a different way than was intended in that market. Obviously, this ad was run in Mexico, and not the U.S. — that ad might have been very different.”
That arrogant, p.c. sanctimony had the effect of pouring gas on the flames. So over the weekend, Eriksson issued a new statement announcing withdrawal of the ad. It was comically titled “We apologize” — and disingenuously argued that “In no way was the ad meant to offend or disparage, or advocate an altering of borders, lend support to any anti-American sentiment, or to reflect immigration issues. …This is a genuine and sincere apology.” ...
Fresh off its Aztlan debacle, the company announced its newest campaign this week featuring an ad titled “Ruler,” described as “a humorous look at gay men and their fascination with perfect, eight-inch ‘member’ measurements.”
The brand’s two new, daring print ad executions include: “Ruler,” a humorous look at gay men and their fascination with perfect, eight-inch “member” measurements, while “Stadium” engages on the issue of gay marriage when one half of a gay couple “pops” the question during a sports outing. Created by SPI Marketing/Moon City in New York, these new lifestyle-driven ads build on a heritage of advertisements that prominently featured gay artists since 1984.
“As a long-time supporter of the gay and lesbian community, we acknowledge that you can’t simply speak to gay men and lesbians as consumers, but instead need to make real connections to their lives which we believe we are achieving with our new creative executions,” said Jeffrey Moran, ABSOLUT® spokesperson. “As a company, we respect gay men and lesbians not simply in advertising messages, but behind the scenes as well. We’re not gay-washing here.”
The preferred brand of vodka for gay and lesbian consumers, ABSOLUT® was one of the first major brands to place an ad in a gay magazine 27 years ago and is a long-time supporter of events and causes important to the gay and lesbian community.
The big news of the day is that Captain Ed Morrissey has announced that he will be closing down his illustrious Captain’s Quarters blog and working at Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air. I suppose adapting to the change will be easy enough. I just need to put Hot Air in my Essential Blogs links category.
Michelle Malkin (and apparently Rush Limbaugh) are hot on the trail of a story of Independents voting in yesterday’s Florida GOP primary.
A CNN exit poll (page 4) listed GOP primary voters in Florida by Party ID, as:
So, according to CNN exit polls, 20% of the voters in the Florida Republican Party primary were non-Republicans. If so, no wonder McCain won.
——————————————————— Captain Ed Morrissey, though, says that “voter identification” (with the other party or no party) is routine in closed primary state polling. It is actual voter registration which is determinative, and this kind of polling result is normal.
Michelle Malkin isn’t happy that Larry Craig is reconsidering that resignation.
Think about it, Michelle. We can’t afford to operate this way.
Democrats don’t resign over sex scandals. They only use them to force Republicans out of office.
Do you remember Bob Livingstone? The slimy pimp Larry Flynt hired private detectives to hunt for Republican pecadillos he could use to avenge the impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton for perjury, and Rep. Livingstone immediately resigned, giving up the Speakership of the House, as soon as news of his marital infidelity was released.
Politicians are human, alzumenschlich commonly in fact. Are only democrat adulterers, only democrats who spend time in the company of prostitutes, only leftwing and democrat homosexuals to be allowed to remain in public office?
If only sinners in private life who are democrats get to survive in office, we are probably conceding a permanent democrat majority.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, relies on user screening of inappropriate content. The left, of course, has the larger numerical presence on the Internet, and leftists generally have few inhibitions about abusing any powers of censorship available to them.
Inevitably there have been some incidents of leftist viewers (supported by Google managers) applying political correctness tests, tagging, and then banning, videos they don’t like for “innappropriate content.” In the best known incident of the kind, Michelle Malkin had a video banned by YouTube last September.
Charles Gerow, a former Reagan White House aide and current adman, has responded to anticipated YouTube censorship of conservative point-of-view 2008 campaign videos in advance by founding QubeTV, a rightwing alternative video venue.
Google is protesting that there is no need for such a thing. YouTube provides perfect equality of access for every point of view. But it is quite clear that Gerow is being astute in forseeing an inevitable increase in incidents like the Malkin video ban as the campaign season heats up. The existence of a well-known alternative venue is likely to have the salutary effect of persuading YouTube management, when temptation inevitably strikes, that abusing their powers in favor of their own political biases is a futile exercise.
Today’s Washington Post profiles the Conservative blogosphere’s female answer to George Patton, our own lovely and talented Michelle Malkin, offering this (overly mild) representative quotation:
The donkey party,” she wrote last fall, “is led by thumb-sucking demagogues in prominent positions who equate Bush with Hitler and Jim Crow, call him a liar in front of high school students and the world, fantasize about impeachment and fetishize the human rights of terrorists who want to kill me. Put simply: There are no grown-ups in the Democrat Party.”
Michelle Malkin asked that miserable prevaricating worm Byron Calame (who makes his living as a fraud, apologizing for, and defending, the New York Slimes’ lies, treason, and arrogance, while posing as a supposed in-house representative of public criticism) exactly what he meant by saying that he had allowed the vicious criticism of The Times by the Bush administration to trigger [his] instinctive affinity for responding as he did in the case of the Times-published SWIFT leak, last July. (What Calame did, of course, was kiss up to his employer, and dismiss all criticism from the outside public, as always.)
That pillar of journalistic integrity Calame took a few days to think about it and replied: “I was referring to criticism of the article that has been amply documented in a wide range of published reports.”
There is the New York Times in a nutshell: too cowardly and dishonest to try to defend what it publishes in an open dialogue, taking refuge behind its own pomposity and self-importance.
Reading Byron Calame makes me want to go out and buy a parakeet, so I could line the bottom of the bird cage with his column.
YouTube has not been enforcing TOS restrictions against this video of a terrorist sniper shooting a US soldier. Or this Al Qaeda propaganda video.
Michelle Malkin has responded to YouTube’s enforcement of sharia with a video addressed to YouTube management. She’s right.