- The Washington Times - Friday, June 22, 2001

Alpha administration
"One worked in the oil industry and baseball; the other dropped out of college and laid oil pipes out West. Neither speaks too much, preferring action to words. Hobbies? Fly-fishing, with little talking; walking on the ranch. An energy crisis? Drill for more oil. A teaching failure? Test em. A surplus? Give it back to the people.
"This may be a slightly skewed reading of the political style of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but it gets at something real. … These guys are guys. Theyre guyish. …
"Chris Matthews once described the Republicans and the Democrats as the Daddy Party and the Mommy Party. But these days, the contrast in leadership style is more old man vs. new man. …
"Democrat Al Gore talked endlessly about his feelings, dabbled in New Age profundity, backed gay rights and spoke of his own existential crises. …
"Bush, by comparison, has a resume that conforms with every pre-1970s ideal of what real men really do. He was a rebel against his father — but eventually became the most dutiful son. He boozed and pranked his way through college. … He then dabbled in oil and baseball. He speaks the language of sports players and frat boys. … Hence the nicknames for colleagues and journalists. Could anything get more guyish?"
—Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Whos Your Daddy?" in the June 11 issue of Time

Beatles influences
"With the release of 'Revolver in 1966, the Beatles began to transform themselves from teen idols into storytellers. … One of the albums chart hits, the sing-song 'Yellow Submarine, reaches back beyond rock for its inspiration. A childrens song, it pointed in the direction the Beatles were to go: the British Music Hall.
"Sgt. Peppers (1967) may well have transformed the rock world, but it owes nothing to rocks Romantic myth. It is built largely from the music and imagery of the Victorian and Edwardian pleasure palaces of the industrial working class. …
"A long list of later Beatles songs is drawn, directly or indirectly, from this tradition: 'Martha, My Dear, 'Your Mother Should Know, 'Penny Lane, 'All You Need Is Love, 'All Together Now, 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, 'Honey Pie, 'Maxwells Silver Hammer, 'Magical Mystery Tour, 'Good Night, and almost everything on the B side of 'Abbey Road, down to and including the inner-groove run-out, 'Her Majesty. …
"But what do … these elements have to do with the mythology that the rock establishment embraces? Precious little. In the end, the rock worlds head was turned by music that was sweet, corny, artificial, and intensely sentimental."
—Charles Paul Freund, writing on "Still Fab: Why We Keep Listening to the Beatles," in June issue of Reason magazine

Wrong track?
"In February 1999, stunned by President Clintons acquittal in the Senate, conservative activist Paul Weyrich attracted national attention by issuing a public admission of defeat in the culture war.
"'I no longer believe that there is a moral majority said Weyrich. In a letter to fellow conservatives, Weyrich described 'a cultural collapse of historic proportions, a collapse so great that it simply overwhelms politics. It might be time to 'drop out of this culture, said Weyrich, perhaps even time to abandon efforts to influence the American political process.
"Two years later, Weyrichs weekly meetings of conservative activists are regularly attended by high level representatives of the Bush administration. Weyrich describes efforts by Bush aides to address his groups concerns as 'far superior even to such attempts during the Reagan administration. Theres a reason for Weyrichs change of mood. President Bushs political advisors have concluded that religious conservatives like Weyrich are the key to forging a winning political coalition. President Bush won last years election largely on the strength of votes from the 57 percent of Americans, many of them religious, who described the 'moral climate of the country as 'seriously off on the wrong track."
—Stanley Kurtz, writing on "Wishing Away the Culture War," in the June-July issue of Policy Review

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