- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2001

Outmoded geeks

"Perhaps the most compelling evidence that the Democrats are besieged by their industrial past can be found in the electoral geography of the 2000 presidential race. Other than Ohio, Gore won every state in the heavily populated industrial Northeast, where organized labor and inner-city government-dependents pulled the lever in droves for this big-government 'populist.'

"These packed urban centers are what allowed Gore to win the popular vote even though he carried only 19 states that comprise a mere 20 percent of the nation's geography.

"This also explains why the Democrats are so high on abolishing the Electoral College, as their industrial- and government-dependent constituents in cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, would offer them a perennial advantage in monopolizing the executive branch of the federal government.

"This is exactly why the Founders created the electoral system, so that welfare mothers and crack dealers in Bedford Stuy wouldn't determine policy for farmers and cattle ranchers in Wyoming.

"For many, the notion that the Democrats have become outmoded political geeks is difficult to grasp, especially since they've built their entire legacy around civil rights and other 'progressive' issues. The fact that respected celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg, Warren Beatty and Barbra Streisand support them, has only further enhanced their image of forward-thinking hipness.

"However, all of their 'compassionate' policies and programs could very soon become an anchor around all of our necks, as virtually everything they stand for and defend are reactionary measures created for a crumbling Industrial Age society."

Roger Sause, from his new book, "Left for Dead"

'George People'?

"There has always been a division among Beatles fans between 'Paul People' and 'John People.'

"Paul People love the Beatles for their music. While mindful of both the extraordinary songwriting symbiosis between Paul McCartney and John Lennon and the lesser contributions of George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they rightly focus on McCartney as the only undeniable musical genius of the foursome the wellspring of its versatility and charm.

"John People love the Beatles for their message. It is Lennon we think of when we think of a Beatles Way of Being.

"Leaving aside screaming Beatlemaniacs in thrall to the idiosyncrasies of sex appeal, there were never any George People or Ringo People. But George Harrison's death from cancer reminds us that there ought to have been. If any of the four could be called 'typical' of the group, the most Beatle-y Beatle, the heart of the Fab Four it was George."

Christopher Caldwell, writing on "All Things Must Pass," Nov. 30 in the Weekly Standard Online at www.weeklystandard.com

Puerile Stalinism

"I learn with complacency that I have been excommunicated from the left. Edward Herman, in a recent cyber-anathema, expels me because I am 'rushing toward the vital center, maybe further to the right, with termination point still to be determined.' Herman, along with several other of my correspondents, doesn't like it when I agree with certain conservatives or (let's be fair) when they agree with me.

"Well, I could have replied in just those terms to Herman as long ago as the Bosnia and Kosovo wars. At that time, the majority of the American right, from Kissinger to Gingrich and Forbes, were opposed to U.S. intervention. Why did I not turn these guns on Herman? Because the reasoning would be too puerile and the attempted association too reminiscent of the methods of Stalinism. I suppose, though, that these are the very elements that recommend such 'arguments' to him."

Christopher Hitchens, on "The Ends of War" in the Dec. 17 issue of the Nation

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